Mailboxes

Mailboxes are among the most prominent things that people see when entering Mill Creek South and affect our curb appeal as a neighborhood. The Board is discussing replacing mailboxes to protect the overall impression of the neighborhood. This will be a significant expense. We need to hear how each of you feels about this.

Here are the facts:

  • Wooden mailboxes need to be maintained to remain intact.
  • Posts need to be maintained to remain vertical.
  • Mailboxes and posts in our neighborhood range from well cared for to derelict.
  • Replacing the existing mailboxes with plastic models removes most of the issue of maintenance.
  • There are differing opinions on which aesthetic is best (wooden vs plastic type 1 vs plastic type 2).
  • There are differing opinions on whether to replace all of them at the expense of the Association or exercise the right of the board to force compliance for all mailboxes.
  • If we opt for replacements, we’ll need to consider logistics such as how fast, which ones first, and who will do the work.
  • The cost of materials and labor is estimated at $60 per mailbox.

Please comment below or email the board.

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33 Responses to Mailboxes

  1. David Robinson says:

    I hope we can get comments from at least 20 neighbors on this.

  2. Jackie Cooke says:

    I’m sorry but I still vote for the wooden mailboxes. The plastic ones are not very nice looking. Those of us who maintain our mailboxes shouldn’t be forced to have an ugly one we don’t like. How about replacing the derelict mailboxes with the plastic ones.
    Thanks for asking us though…Jackie

  3. Jim Muehlberg says:

    Though the cost may be significant, as David says, we have the money in the bank.

  4. Craig & Abby Dommer says:

    We support Jackie’s ideas.
    Homeowners who maintain their mailboxes should get to keep them. Derelict mailboxes should be a matter of enforcing the covenants. And therefore, the cost of the mailbox should be the homeowner’s responsibility. Scheduling and labor could be something the HOA might organize, but replacing all mailboxes seems like an unnecessary expense.

  5. Glen Michael says:

    I agree that replacing all the mailboxes would be unnecessary and a waste of the HOA’s funds. Forcing a switch to all plastic mailboxes would, in my opinion, detract from the appearance of the neighborhood. In addition, many homeowners have birdhouses built onto their wooden mailboxes and these would not be compatible with plastic mailboxes.

    If the derelict mailboxes are a major concern, either mandate compliance with the covenants, or simply replace or repair those specific mailboxes.

  6. Andy and Sally Mank says:

    We’re in favor of a phased replacement of the wooden mailboxes with the plastic mailboxes. We feel the wooden mailboxes are too prominent in the landscape–too large, too light in color, and of course, they require maintenance. We suggest that the Board start by replacing the mailboxes that have been damaged, painted a different color or that are badly in need of paint.

    The numerals should be of a type that can be easily seen by emergency services, and as standardized as possible.

    The homeowner should have the choice of placing the mailboxes in concrete or not. If the box is anchored in concrete, it will cause more damage if struck by a vehicle, and replacing or repositioning the post and box will require more work.

  7. Paul Ferrer says:

    What do you mean mailboxes “affect our curb appeal as a neighborhood” and that replacing them may be needed “to protect the overall impression of the neighborhood”? Are you seriously suggesting that people won’t want to move to Mill Creek South because of the condition of the mailboxes in our neighborhood? That’s absurd. Personally, I wish everyone would be able to put in their own colorful and individualized mailboxes, no matter how tacky, as that would give our neighborhood more character (my daughter agrees with this). I can’t really see that enough people care about this to justify spending $120 per mailbox to replace them all.

  8. Sue Cantu says:

    I agree with Glen, Craig and Jackie – I prefer the wood design. Is it possible to come up with a wooden design, similar to the existing, that would be less costly to replace? Would it be less expensive to replace the derelict mailboxes with the wood design than to replace the entire neighborhood with the plastic mailboxes? Maybe the cost of the wooden mailbox replacement could be split 50/50 between the house owner and the HOA? Just some thoughts…

    Thanks, Sue

  9. Mark Sherriff says:

    I agree with Jackie’s comment. I would imagine the owners of the derelict wooden mailboxes would welcome the plastic ones as they are effectively “setup and forget.” Although I’m not sure we’d like to reward neglectful behavior by using HOA funds to replace the mailboxes, it might be the simplest/easiest solution overall. Personally, I would prefer to keep my wooden mailbox.

  10. JOHN CAPPELMANN says:

    i prefer the wooden mailboxes as well. i also agree that replacing all the mailboxes is unnecessary

  11. Karen Davenport says:

    After my mailbox was demolished (it really was just an accident), I went to whomever was handling mailboxes at the time and got one of the plastic ones. It certainly is easier, although I think the look of the wooden ones is nicer.
    I agree – if people maintain them, they shouldn’t be forced to get the plastic ones.
    If our biggest issue is mailboxes, then we really are in pretty good shape.

  12. Sarah Powell says:

    Thank you for asking for feedback. I just moved into the neighborhood, and I don’t really have a preference between plastic and wood. I do think, however, that the wooden mailboxes “date” the neighborhood (especially the diagonal wood pieces from the mailbox to the post).

    I appreciate that you all are trying to come up with a solution that makes the neighborhood look nice!

  13. Dell Erwin says:

    I believe mailboxes in disrepair definitely affect our community’s “curb appeal” and that “curb appeal” does affect some decisions regarding buying a house in a community that seems well kept and one that’s not. This can especially be an issue in a market when there are more homes for sale than buyers. Although I prefer uniformity in mailboxes, it’s too late for that since the plastic ones have been used for years. I would like for homeowners to be informed of the regulations they agreed to when we bought our houses and for them to be enforced, preferably with cooperation from homeowners. This seems like a small thing to expect, at a small cost, which has a notable impact on community aesthetics.

  14. Elise Brigham says:

    As a homeowner, I maintain my mailbox as required and like the looks of my current mailbox, I do not like either plastic mailbox. I don’t believe anyone has mentioned this but what about several mail stations much like you see in townhouse or apartment communities? Granted the big metal box containing 10 – 20 “mailboxes” is not all that attractive but it would alleviate maintenance on individual mailboxes or having to look at the plastic ones. Just a thought…

  15. John Arras says:

    I agree with Glen Michael, my former student who always had the right answer. Although I’m not thrilled with the current design of the wood mailboxes (Sally and Andy are right: too prominent, too clunky), the plastic boxes are, in my opinion, an aesthetic disaster. They just look tacky and sad.

    Perhaps some postal anarchy is in order. Let individual homeowners decide what to do according to their own tastes. How badly could they screw up? When you go into older, less planned neighborhoods all across this country, you just don’t notice the mailboxes first thing the way you do in our development, and that’s a good thing. Who needs uniformity on an issue like this? Lots of folks would rise to the occasion with attractive designs that suit their individual taste, and most people will put up something basic and functional. But, as Andy and Sally note, we could still insist on certain standards, like easy to read numbers, and decent upkeep of whatever designs are chosen. Collapsed heaps of wood in front of a lot of houses–not good!

  16. John McMullen says:

    I’m in favor of the phased replacement of the wooden mailboxes, though I think some variety would be good. Perhaps the board could offer 3-4 models from which homeowners could choose, including a new (sturdier) wooden model?

  17. Roger Reynolds says:

    I prefer the look of the wooden mailboxes, but a plastic one looks much better than neglected wooden one. I have one of the first plastic ones that was installed – after mine was taken out one snowy day – but, have helped a couple of my neighbors rebuild their damaged wooden ones. I’d hate to see people, who have worked to keep their wooden mailbox in good condition, forced to replace it with a plastic one.

  18. Deborah & Dean Riddick says:

    Due to the design, size & color of the wooden mailboxes, they are very prominent when driving through the neighborhood. While it may be a matter of opinion, some might agree that the 1980′s design is bulky & outdated. We have owned the plastic model for many years, and it’s design is simple & has proven to be maintenance free.
    We strongly believe the neglected/damaged mailboxes are a blemish on our
    community and it’s worth the cost to replace them. In the past we’ve had work groups organized to assist on other projects, why not this one to help reduce the cost of installation?
    Thank you HOA officers for taking on this task!

  19. John Zenker says:

    I have never liked the wooden mailboxes. Even when they’re standing straight, they look like they’re falling over, because the design is not balanced. That said, they’re part of the neighborhood, as are the plastic mailboxes that are out there.
    I would favor having several choices including wood or plastic, with residents able to keep/repair what they have, have one of the Mill Creek South choices put in, or put in their own following covenant codes, with $120 reimbursible with receipts (a variation of John Arras’ Postal Anarchy policy).
    Having the neighborhood pay for replacements is the best way to ensure that replacements will actually happen where they are badly needed. We could have Simon Cowell judge our neighborhood’s current mailboxes to see whose mailboxes should be voted off the island, or whatever.

  20. John Arras says:

    To Paul Ferrer and daughter I say, “Postal anarchists unite!” But is that a self-contradiction?

  21. Mark Lepsch says:

    Personally, the only mailboxes that bother me are the ones where the boards are hanging off, swinging in the breeze, and the paint is flaking off so it looks like the mailbox has leprosy. I find it sad that folks wouldn’t take enough pride to fix these themselves in a timely fashion – it doesn’t seem like something the board should have to police. That said, I agree that the wooden mailboxes looked very nice and gave our neighborhood a great curbside appeal. However, I am not sure it is worth the cost to replace all the mailboxes in the neighborhood or a significant number of them. But since I am no longer on the board, I support whatever those of us who donate their time to make our neighborhood a better place wish to do. Thanks for all your hard work on our behalf – keep up the great work!

  22. Cindy Fredrick says:

    I do not have a preference for plastic, or wood, or colorful – but do have a prefence for mailboxes that are kept in good working order. The broken/unpainted/leaning mailboxes do give a negative impression.

  23. Doug Horwitz says:

    I too would opt for the individualized, let the buyer decide, revolutionary movement. When I first visited this neighborhood in the mid-90s I was a bit put off by the strict uniformity of the mailboxes. Although we share a wonderful neighborhood, we each have our unique qualities. That’s expressed partially by how we care for our homes and landscape our outdoor surroundings. Why not extend that individuality to our post boxes? Frankly, plastic is just that….plastic. Though perhaps functional, it is far from a representation of the rest of our wonderful surroundings….natural beauty. We may as well all purchase plastic pink flamingos and put them in our yards. Seriously, let our individual creative abilities extend to our mailboxes. As long as they meet postal standards we ought to have fun with this.

  24. Vinnie Mascia says:

    Firstly, thanks to all the neighbors for offering comments as well as the officers for their hard work and suggesting such an open forum.

    Mailboxes will be around for a long time in the neighborhood as well as contributing to the overall aesthetics of the development, particularly since there is no common club house or other strong identifiers for MCS. I suggest two or three designs that are deemed reasonably aesthetic, low maintenance and can be replaced/repaired easily. It seems important enough to me to use some escrow monies to bring everyone having a new on. Since there is a history of inconsistency in maintenance and strict covenant enforcement, just like lawn cutting common areas upkeep could be included in the yearly dues. There could be an electronic vote for the favorite one.

    Thanks to all in this thread.

  25. Jim Muehlberg says:

    One should not get the impression that the plastic mailboxes will last any longer than the ones we presently have. Most of the mailboxes have been there since the beginning of the neighborhood, some in excess of 20 years. Plastic will deteriorate and become brittle over time. The UV rays beating on them are very harsh. For those of you with Trex decking, this is also a concern. If your contractor says it will last forever, he’s not giving you the whole story!

    I have rescinded my vote to wholesale replace every box. I now support maintaining your present box, what ever it is, and not allowing anymore plastic boxes to be installed.

  26. Margaret Weeks says:

    I am not in favor of the HOA replacing all the boxes, as someone else said, it feels like rewarding bad behavior. I think people should be asked to replace those boxes that are deemed “unfit” (or who are voted off the subdivision!). I think there should be several varieties from which is choose. If a homeowner doesn’t comply within a specified time frame, then the HOA should replace it and bill the homeowner.

    I’m with you John, “Postal anarchists unite!”

  27. Christian Arellano says:

    Thanks to the Board for soliciting input. I think neglected mailboxes are worse than either a plastic or wooden mailbox. I’m not in favor of spending HOA funds to standardize all of the neighborhoods mailboxes, particularly when some of the vintage mailboxes are still in good shape. If we do ultimately transition to plastic mailboxes, I would like to see alternative designs, as I’m not a big fan of the current design. Personally, I prefer mailbox diversity as opposed to a monoculture.

  28. Wendy Miller says:

    I’m with individual mailboxes and it being up to the individual owners to take care of their mailboxes…I like the one I have and I have had it fixed and painted and it looks fine. I’m with the postal anarchists. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Best to all.

  29. Yan Gao says:

    I’m sorry but I still prefer for the wooden mailboxes. The plastic ones are not very nice looking. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Best to all.

  30. david says:

    Please visit our updated mailboxes info page.

  31. Lynn Smith says:

    wow….lot’s of opinions…here is one more. When I moved to the neighborhood in 2000 I loved the “be one with nature” look of the homes. Neutral colors, uniformity in mailboxes, no visible tarps, toys, no cars parked on the sides of the roads. Well, things have change, unfavorably in my opinion and the neighborhood is looking run down mainly because of the mailboxes. My friends said why do you want to move to a place where they have covenants that say you can’t paint things whatever color you want? My response….I like the neutral colors and respect my neighbors and will maintain the neutral look. So….back to natural wooden boxes, perhaps an updated design but PLEASE don’t let people do whatever they want…I think you would be opening a can of worms as aesthetics are subjective and it negates the vision that Mill Creek was built upon and the reason that I moved here.
    Let’s have a “spruce up the neigborhood” weekend this spring and paint and repair the mailboxes and help the neighbors that are not physically able to maintain there mailboxes. Perhaps a cookout in the playground afterward.
    ~Lynn Smith

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