Congressman Lee Zeldin was in Flanders Wednesday to advocate for a new zip code for the Southampton hamlets of Flanders, Riverside and Northampton, which currently share a zip code with Riverhead.
A separate zip code came up repeatedly as a top priority in a recent revitalization plan prepared by Renaissance Downtowns along with members of the Riverside community.
Community members have estimated there are currently at least 18 identical street names and 32 street names in the three Southampton hamlets that are similar to those in Riverhead Town, leading to confusion and packages that are misdirected by the U.S. Postal Service.
Flanders, Riverside, and Northampton Citizens Advisory Committee Secretary Ron Fisher said the CAC brought the issue to Mr. Zeldin’s attention in May, and “within a week he had contacted the head of the U.S. Post Office and provided me with the official federal process for obtaining zip codes for our hamlets. We at the CAC collected nearly 20 letters of support from heads of civic groups, elected officials, volunteer fire and ambulance departments, residents and businesses to get the ball rolling.”
Mr.Zeldin announced Wednesday a press conference at the David W. Crohan Community Center in Flanders that he has sent a letter to the Postmaster General to request that each Southampton hamlet be given its own zip code, possibly 11902 for Flanders, 11903 for Riverside and 11904 for Northampton.
He told attendees Wednesday that he expects to hear an answer within two months.
“This is a serious concern for residents on the East End of Long Island. I have been very well aware of this issue since several years before entering Congress and I am honored to lead the effort for the community to hopefully achieve a positive solution,” he said. “The delay of deliveries caused by this issue is not just a nuisance to the local community, but can also greatly impact quality of life. These packages can hold important goods like medications, which are critical for a person’s health and well-being. They can also cause major problems for police, first responders, and other emergency personnel, who may arrive at the wrong address due to these shared street names with the same zip code.”
“For close to 20 years, the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton communities have requested an independent zip code, not only to enhance their sense of identity but to ensure the safe and timely arrival of important mail and packages,” said Southampton Town Councilwoman Christine Scalera.
“Receiving calls from lost guests or delivery men are an inconvenience experienced by many residents of the area, but having lifesaving medicine delivered to the right address in the wrong town is a far more serious matter,” said Flanders, Riverside & Northampton Community Association President Vince Taldone.
Southampton Councilman Brad Bender, who lives in Northampton, said he believes the service will instill “a sense of pride of place for the residents and businesses in those hamlets.”