Friday, May 28, 2004

Mailbox Limbo

We recently moved to the Pacific North West. When we were first shown the house, it was still unfinished, and it was one of a dozen houses we looked at in the neighborhood, so our attention to detail was not heightened since at the time we were not looking with buyers eyes.

When we came back for the inspection one thing became annoyingly apparent. The mailbox was directly in front of the house. When looking out the front door the first thing you saw was the mail box. Not only this but since it was drive up mail box everyone who checked their mail did so with their cars parked directly in front of our house. Additionally no one who visited could stop or park in front of our house. Unfortunately the inspection cycle is a little late to be asking the builder to change anything. When we asked if they could move the mail box their response was "We'll look into it"

After we moved in the builder, Burnstead Construction's response was:

"The Developer of the project has placed them per the direction of the US Post Office. Which puts the issue out of "Burnsteads" hands."

So my real estate agent Glen Curtis went and talked to Butch Crawford, the Growth Management Specialist at the Issaquah Post Office and he approved the moving of the mail box to the property line.

So I left a message for Ken Miller the superintendent for Burnstead about a leak in the storage room and the mail box. He immediately sent out a Burnstead employee to look at the leak but never called me back about the mail box, I ribbed the employee who was talking to Ken on the Nextel that he hadn't called me about the mailbox. The employee said that Ken said that moving the mail box would be a developer issue. Developer's are folks who buy tracts of land, get zoning approval and build the initial infrastructure, sewer, gas, electricity, roads etc.

So I stopped by the developer's office's Thursday morning to talk to them, where I talked with Jeff and Mark, and explained the issue to them. Again I got the back and forth. They would look into whether it could be moved, due to irrigation and other such issues etc. Additionally they said that I would need to talk to the neighbor to make sure that they were ok with it and then the developers would talk to Burnstead about moving it, because it was a Burnstead deal and that they would have Burnstead call me.

Well of course the developer's came back and said that upon review of the plat map, which had been signed off by the post office the box was in the right location and they would not be willing to move it and it was a Burnstead issue. Of course talking to Burnstead they felt it was not there issue either. I was in bureaucratic limbo with a misplaced mailbox that no one was willing to move. I called Ken again to see what he thought, and he said that his bosses were tired of hearing him bring it up. My agent Glen thought perhaps he could write a letter leveraging the relationship that his Real Estate agency had with Burnstead, but I said I would try one last thing. So I called by Ken and said I just wanted the mailbox moved and I was willing to pay for it myself, could he ask around and see if anyone was willing to do the work and let me know. A couple of days later he rang me back and said that no one was interested but that I could pay him and he would come out on Saturday. I agreed upon the condition that he let me help him. That Saturday while he drove up from home I dug a new hole for the mailbox, and I helped him mix the cement and pour it. Later on in the week after the cement had cured the mailbox was moved and we had a new perspective from the front of the house. Mailbox limbo resolved.

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