Queen Creek's 85242 ZIP code will change by one digit in early July despite the town's efforts to stop a move officials fear will add to the perception the town is in Pinal County instead of Maricopa County.
Queen Creek's is one of 30 ZIP codes slated to change July 1. United States Postal Service officials say the change is necessary to assure it can serve the growing area while keeping similar ZIP codes grouped together. Select ZIP codes starting with 852 will change to 851. As an example, 85242 will become 85142.
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Queen Creek officials had appealed that change, concerned about existing confusion over its town limits. Queen Creek's ZIP code is the only one primarily in Maricopa County set to change.
Because other ZIP codes are in Pinal County, town officials fear lumping them in with the change could add to confusion. They worry residents in the unincorporated Pinal areas with Queen Creek addresses will believe they're in town limits.
But in a letter dated June 12, post office District Manager Lawrence James told the town its request is being rejected.
It isn't "operationally feasible" to keep Queen Creek's ZIP code constant while others are changing, although the post office does appreciate Queen Creek's concern about its identity, James wrote.
The post office realizes ZIP codes are being used for nonpostal purposes but discourages that practice, James wrote.
However, James did suggest using different names to identify the difference between the town of Queen Creek versus unincorporated Pinal County areas that have Queen Creek addresses.
For instance, Queen Creek could become "Town of Queen Creek" on its postal address, he wrote. Or the outlying areas could change their name, although that would require a name change request from those other areas.
Pinal County Supervisor Bryan Martyn has said he submitted such a request to change the name of the outlying areas to Bella Vista to correspond with the ZIP code change. However, there is currently controversy over the name Bella Vista, so whether it sticks is in question.
Town officials plan to appeal the post office's decision, spokeswoman Marnie Schubert said in an e-mail.