The city of Santa Monica has joined an appeal by Rep. Henry Waxman of the U.S. Postal Service’s decision to close the city’s Works Project Administration-era post office.
Following the Postal Service’s final approval of the closure of the Santa Monica Post Office at 1248 Fifth St., Waxman, who was recently reelected in the 33rd Congressional District, issued an appeal of the decision, which includes transferring retail operations to a carrier annex facility at 1653 Seventh St.
The city submitted a request to the Postal Regulatory Commission Nov. 6 to participate in Waxman’s appeal, claiming that the decision must be reversed because the Postal Service failed to proceed in the manner required by federal law.
“Since the Fifth Street post office is located in the city and its closure and consolidation has significant adverse impacts on the city’s residents and business community, and the city itself is a customer served by the Fifth Street post office, the city is authorized to intervene and participate in this proceeding,” city attorneys wrote.
Postal Service officials have said the move from the post office building, which was built in 1937, is classified as a relocation because retail services will continue to be provided at the annex property, which is located less than a mile away.
But city attorneys believe that the decision clearly results in a closure or consolidation, and the federal agency did not follow the procedures for closing or consolidating a facility according to the postal regulatory code.
“Had the USPS’s action been a mere ‘relocation,’ different procedural requirements would have been triggered,” city attorneys wrote.
City officials additionally noted that the current post office is located in the heart of downtown Santa Monica in a highly accessible location, but the annex site is in a more remote area with inconvenient access. Customers are able to easily walk to the Fifth Street location, which is also well-served by bus lines, but people with mobility limitations would have difficulty getting to the Seventh Street building, according to the city’s appeal.