ZIP code solution in works

A host of Chesterfield residents and businesses could soon have the option to switch to Chesterfield-specific addresses.

Last week, Senior Budget Analyst Matt Harris updated the Board of Supervisors on the county’s efforts to give residents who live in Chesterfield but have Richmond, Colonial Heights or Petersburg addresses Chesterfield-specific addresses.

During two rounds of public meetings on the issue, there was an “overwhelming desire” to address the ZIP code issue, Harris said. But, some businesses thought people more closely identified them with Richmond than Chesterfield, he said, and one goal was to preserve their ability to use their existing addresses.

The current proposal provides residents and businesses with the option to use a Chesterfield-specific address, but it does not require that they do so, Harris said.

“We’ve gone to great lengths to align this with community sentiment,” Harris told the Board of Supervisors last week.

In the eight affected ZIP codes, only two of which are entirely in Chesterfield County, there are roughly 50,000 residents and more than 4,200 commercial addresses, he said. An estimated $1.5 million to $2 million in revenue, primarily sales and use taxes, is misallocated based on existing addresses. The current addresses also breed confusion, he said, as residents are sometimes unsure who they should call for services or to pay local taxes.

“In working with the post office, we have come to sort of a compromise,” Harris said. “The big difference here is they’re allowing us to use directional modifiers.”

In the current proposal, properties in the six affected ZIP codes in the northern half of the county – 23225, 23235, 23224, 23236, 23234 and23237 – could use a “North Chesterfield” address. Properties in the two affected ZIP codes in the southern half of the county – 23834 and 23803 – could use a “South Chesterfield” address.

The names are not set in stone, Harris said, and the public will be able to provide input at a third series of community meetings on the issue. The proposed model is similar to that which is already in place in the 23235 ZIP code, where residents can have a Bon Air or Richmond address, he said.

“This type of arrangement is already in place and working well,” he said.


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