Bay Station Post Office may relocate

The Newport Beach Bay Station Post Office is seeking a change of address.

Located on Riverside Drive near West Coast Highway, the post office loses its lease Nov. 9, and the landlord has declined to negotiate a new one, U.S. Postal Service officials said.

The lease includes two locations in the Mariner's Center, said Richard Maher, a Post Office spokesman.

One is a stand-alone building where post office boxes are housed. The other, in the corner of the shopping center, includes P.O. boxes and a counter where customers can buy stamps, envelopes and boxes.

During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Newport Beach City Council will consider whether to change the land-use designation for the stand-alone building and amend the zoning accordingly.

City staff described the proposed changes as "consistent with the mixed-used village vision for this area of Mariner's Mile by providing the opportunity for commercial and residential development," according to the staff report.

They added that a relocation of the Post Office, at 191 Riverside Ave., would reduce parking impacts in the area.

Still, City Manager Dave Kiff had been unsure Thursday whether the corner facility was being affected in addition to the stand-alone building. He said city staff planned to set up a meeting with representatives from the Post Office.

Council members learned that the Post Office was being forced to move in a letter from the U.S. Postal Service issued March 20 and received by the city March 25.

"I was surprised to get that piece of correspondence," said Councilman Tony Petros. "It was the first that we had heard that there was any type of lease issue."

Post office officials hope to identify a nearby location for the Post Office. Petros planned to look into how the city might help.

"The Postal Service wishes to work in partnership with you and your community," the letter reads.

Petros said he uses the Post Office frequently. Not having it would present a "significant inconvenience" for residents.

"I don't think people in the community are aware they're going to lose it," he said.

Other postal stations are located on Balboa Island, the Balboa Peninsula and Camelback Street.

When asked how he felt about the possibility of losing the Riverside Avenue Post Office, Newport Beach resident Jim Barrett responded in resigned defense: "It's a local Post Office!"

It was Thursday afternoon and he had walked to the post office with his neighbor. It took them two minutes to get there, he said.

Each brought along his dog, and they stopped for a snack at C'est Si Bon Bakery nearby afterward.

[For the record, 1 p.m. April 7: The headline on an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the post office was on the Peninsula.]

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