Daniel Island Small/Original Mailbox Replacement Program

The Associations are tasked with providing for the preservation of neighborhood home values throughout the island to maintain a “community wide standard”. Over the past several years, it has become evident to the POA Code Enforcement and Field Operations team, as well as from concerned owners, that the oldest/original/smallest mailboxes on the island were falling below the community standard in both looks and functionality. A lot of these original/small mailboxes have been voluntarily replaced over the years by owners but many still exist in the neighborhoods. It has been an eyesore for a few years and we feel it is time to address them.

The newest model that we currently use has evolved and is a more durable, heavy duty powder coated product that has a longer life expectancy. The new model is also larger and can hold more mail. While mailboxes may seem less significant or not part of an owner’s home or property, they are actually one of the first things that one sees on the outside of a home. The maintenance and upkeep of mailboxes are referenced in Section 5.2 of the Daniel Island Community Association and Daniel Island Park Association CC&R’s. It states that each owner is responsible for maintaining the mailbox serving their home/unit and that the owner shall perform such maintenance in a manner consistent with the community-wide standard. If the owner fails to comply to perform such responsibilities, the Association will perform this maintenance and assess the costs to the owner. The Daniel Island ARB Design Guidelines state that mailboxes and mailbox posts are made of heavy duty aluminum with a powder coated finish and that only approved mailboxes supplied by the Association will be allowed.

The POA Code Enforcement Team performed a neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street, inspection of all mailboxes this year, identifying those owners who have the “original/oldest/small mail box”. These mailboxes no longer meet the current community standard. We are standardizing the sizes of all mailboxes so that everyone has the current/larger style. The mailbox replacement program will take place from January 2020 – March 2020 and will consist of replacing both the small/original mailbox and the post. This replacement program will improve the overall condition of the Daniel Island neighborhood mailbox units and ultimately the streetscape or aesthetic look of the neighborhood streets and the property value of the individual units or homes. The replacement program will provide you with a larger box with increased interior capacity.

The owners with these original/small mailboxes will be notified by the POA office via hard copy letter through US Mail to both the Daniel Island street address as well as the billing/alternate address that is on file with the POA, email, and door tag. The replacement cost of the new mailbox including the post, is $400.00. This cost covers removal of the old post and old mailbox, the installation of the new post and new mailbox, as well as materials costs, shipping, and tax. This mailbox replacement program is a mandatory program.

Most owners have already purchased the current style. The current/newer style is larger and more durable than the small/original boxes. On the current/newer style, the door opens to the side instead of down which places less stress on the hinges and improves durability and functionality.

To help explain the how’s and why’s of this mailbox replacement program, we have provided for you below, a comprehensive list of questions and answers to assist you:

Mailbox FAQ’S

Some History of the Original /Small Mailbox to the Current/Larger Mailbox

The current/large mailbox has evolved and improved over the years with several design and material improvements. The original mailboxes were smaller and through the years, we transitioned to a larger box made of heavy duty aluminum. In 2014, our mailbox vendor (supplier/fabricator/installer) recommended a design change. This change in design consisted of moving the mailbox door closer to the top of the mailbox. Moving the door up allowed for a 5″ deep well in the bottom of the box which helped hold the mail in the box more effectively. This change also helped keep the mail drier from rain/weather due to where it sat inside the mailbox and the change in how the door opened, improved and strengthened the functionality and durability of the hardware and hinges of the door. The current/larger mailbox is our largest version at 19” high x 10” wide x 6” deep. We have also relocated the door 5” up from the bottom creating a well that holds mail in the event that the door inadvertently opens. With the door open, the mail stays in place. The current/larger mailbox and post are “powder coated” aluminum manufactured to the highest standards. They will continue to provide many years of service especially in our salty air and low country humidity and environment. We feel that the current design, size and style is functioning very well and is aesthetically pleasing.

Cost of the larger/current mailbox & what does what include?

The cost in 2019 and again in 2020 for the larger/current mailbox is $400.00. This cost covers removal of old post and mailbox and installation of the new post and mailbox, as well as materials costs, shipping and tax.

How was it determined which owners would be a part of this mailbox replacement program?

The Code Enforcement Team for the DIPOA performed a street by street and unit by unit inspection of all mailboxes throughout the entire island identifying the smallest/original mailboxes. These addresses were documented during the inspection. The inspection identified 306 owners who will be part of the mailbox replacement program. The criteria for being added to this list were all boxes and posts that were the original/small design only.

Why is the mailbox replacement program necessary?

This replacement program is overdue and needed in order to bring all mailboxes and posts up to a current, consistent, uniformed community standard which is the larger/same size box that we have been using for the past 6 years. These small/original mailboxes and posts are in some cases, at least 15 years old. The conditions include things such as boxes and posts that are of the original /small size, faded, rusted, peeling paint, doors broken off or not able to shut and being held on by rubber bands, duct tape and bungee cords, which do not meet the community standard for Daniel Island mailboxes/posts.

How will I be notified if I am one of the owners who needs to have their mailbox/post replaced?

A hard copy letter will be sent by US Mail to the owner’s physical street address on Daniel Island as well as a billing/separate address if applicable per the POA database records if different than the physical address. We will also email those owners whose email addresses we have on file. We do not have email addresses for all owners, but will utilize email communication for those that we do have.

Can I opt out of this mailbox replacement program?

No, this project is being done to bring the oldest/smaller mailboxes up to the current community standard size. The fee is not optional as the replacement is a mandatory replacement program.

How/when will I be invoiced for the new mailbox/post and when is payment due?

Each owner who has been identified as needing a mailbox replacement will be invoiced on their annual POA dues assessment that is mailed to all owners in late November/early December. Payment for the mailbox will be due when the assessment is due/paid. The mailbox replacement fee on the invoice will be listed as a separate line item on the annual invoice.

When will the mailbox replacement program begin and end?

The replacement program will begin in January 2020 and will be completed by the end of March 2020.

How will the project be implemented throughout Daniel Island?

We will be replacing the mailboxes and posts in a neighborhood by neighborhood/street by street basis (each neighborhood/street will be completed entirely before moving on to the next neighborhood/street). We will begin in the oldest neighborhoods first and then move to the newer neighborhoods.

Do I have to replace/pay for both a new post and new mailbox and why?

Yes – the old posts and mailboxes were of a different material and for form, fit and function the new powder coated mailbox and post is mated so that the entire product, looks the same, is the same size, works together accordingly and that all mailboxes will conform to the same community standard.

I currently have a single mailbox and single (non shared) post – will my new mailbox and post be the same?

Yes – If you currently have a single (non shared) post and mailbox – your replacement will be the same.

I currently share a post with my neighbor – i.e., our separate mailboxes are on a shared post – will my new mailbox and post be the same?

Yes – if you currently share a post with your neighbor – your replacement will be the same.

I currently share a post with my neighbor – will I have the option of changing my post to a single (non shared) post when the replacement occurs?

No – We are keeping with the original installations due to aesthetics, consistency of removal and replacement and ease of delivery for the mail carrier/post office.

What determines the “installation” of a non shared or a shared post?

A shared post setup is the most widely used setup for reasons of economics, space and aesthetics. Generally, the only reason for a non shared post would be where there is an odd number of homes along a street. It is assumed that the vast majority of owners will be sharing posts and in those few instances where there is a non shared post, it is because it wasn’t possible, practical or feasible. These are the exceptions and are not the norm.

What determines the “placement” of where the post/mailbox goes in front of the home or in the lane or alley behind?

They are “generally” installed on the property line at either location between your and your neighbor’s home and are “generally” placed on the same side of the street. There are some situations where there may be a total of 4 mailboxes together (2 at the property line and 2 from homes across the street) so that they are grouped together.

Will I have an option of relocating my new post and mailbox to a different location on my property? If not, why?

No – We will be using the same/current location for aesthetics, consistency of removal and replacement and ease of delivery for the mail carrier/post office. The installer will make every attempt to replace the post and mailbox in its original location, but there may be some needed adjustments to that placement on a case by case basis. According to Federal law (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1705), mailboxes are effectively considered Federal Property, once they have been installed. This law puts your mailbox under Federal jurisdiction in order to protect you (the owner/resident) from any harm or vandalism that may occur from a mailbox’s misuse. Once the mailbox is installed and is ready for the receipt of mail, the owner/resident effectively leases the mailbox to the Federal government for the service of mail delivery.

Is there anything I need to do to prepare the area around my mailbox post before the removal of my old mailbox/post and the installation of my new mailbox/post takes place?

If you have plant material growing around or up the post/box, it would be best in preparation, if you remove or prune this back if you are concerned about it surviving the removal and installation. This will assist the installers in ensuring that the installation of the new post and box goes smoothly and uninterrupted. These personnel will make every effort to avoid flower beds or plant material near the post but the POA and their installer/contractor will not be responsible for any landscaping that is affected by the installation since this area is technically part of the City right of way area.

Who is the supplier of the mailboxes and posts for this replacement program?

We investigated several supplier/fabrication vendors for comparable style, design and pricing and we chose our current vendor who has consistently provided us with a very good product over the years and we have confidence that this will continue with these posts and mailboxes.

Will I need to be home during removal or installation?

No – you will not need to be home. As long as our vendor is able to access your mailbox, everything should be fine.

How long will the removal and installation take?

Approximately 2 to 3 hours per box/post from start to finish. This includes the time needed for the concrete to set. We anticipate that the work being done on each mailbox and post will be completed in one visit.

Will my mail service be interrupted during this process?

No – your mail service will not be interrupted.

Is there a warranty on the work being performed and what does the warranty cover and how long is the warranty effective?

Yes there is a warranty which covers any installation or manufacturer/material defects for up to 90 days after installation. This warranty would not cover any damages that are due to vehicles or vandalism damaging the new post and mailbox, which are outside of the POA or installers responsibility.

I don’t have the small/original mailbox that is part of the replacement program, as my mailbox is one of the 2nd or 3rd generation larger boxes, but it has become damaged, faded or worn and I would like it replaced – how would I go about doing that?

You should contact the POA office at 843-971-9200 as we encourage those of you who would like to change out/upgrade your mailbox to do so.

Below are a few pictures that depict examples of the small/original mailbox that is being focused on in this mailbox replacement program and the current/larger mailbox that is now the community standard.