"We have no objections to giving them a different number and calling it Discovery Bay, but incorporating hundreds of acres of Byron into Discovery Bay's ZIP code is inappropriate," BMAC Chairman Rick Hendrick said Monday.
After 11 years and an act of Congress, Discovery Bay earlier this year got a postal ZIP code independent of Byron's 94514.
Discovery Bay did not exist when the postal service developed ZIP codes in July of 1963. But Byron did. Over the years, however, Discovery Bay was developed and settled. Now the population hovers around the 25,000 mark while Byron's is under 1,000.
It nettled Discovery Bay community leaders that their town did not have its own identity at the post office. "People would see the ZIP code 94514 and ask if I lived in Byron and I would tell them no, that I live in Discovery Bay," said Community Services District Board President David Piepho.
Discovery Bay is not the only Contra Costa community struggling with the identity issue. Unincorporated Bay Point, immediately west of Pittsburg, Bay Point carries Pittsburg's ZIP code 94565 and continues to be listed in the phone directory as Pittsburg. That community continues pressing various elected officials to pressure the postal service to assign it an independent ZIP code.
Hendrick said his group reviewed the proposed boundaries last Thursday and voted to voice disappointment to County Supervisor Mary Piepho and others.
"Yes we know it's only a ZIP code, but there are a lot of people in Byron who feel that way," he said.
The postal boundaries are meaningless in the context of either community's future growth and development or existing boundaries.
Hendricks said that Byron is a rural area and is the face of far East County. "It has been for over a hundred years. Discovery Bay is an urban setting. We don't feel it (Discovery Bay's new ZIP code boundaries) represents Byron."
David Piepho said the new boundaries stretch more to the south because on the other three sides the county, Knightsen and the county agricultural core hem in Discovery Bay.
He said the boundaries grew out of several meetings called by Supervisor Piepho and Rep. Elaine Tauscher. Representatives of officials, the postal service, the county Community Development Department and the two communities attended those meetings.
"We kicked it around and realized growth for Discovery Bay was likely to be toward the south. We tried to plan ahead so when we officially get (the ZIP code) we aren't redrawing lines again in two years," David Piepho said Monday. His board endorsed the boundaries at a meeting last week.