Little Leucadia post office to close?

Postage-stamp-sized building has been there since the 1940s

The United States Postal Service, in an effort to reduce continuing losses, has been looking to close, consolidate, or downsize several area post offices. While the possible closures of the La Jolla, Mission Valley, and one of the Escondido post offices have all made headlines recently, next on the USPS study list will be the little Leucadia post office at 1160 N. Coast Hwy 101.

Although Leucadia is part of the City of Encinitas and shares the same zip code (92024), many Leucadians insist on using their town’s name in addressing mail — Leucadia, CA 92024. Leucadia has had a separate post office for over 100 years. The current postage-stamp-sized building, with its patriotic paint scheme, has served Leucadia since the late 1940s.

Eva Jackson, spokesperson for the San Diego district of the USPS (a district that extends through San Bernardino and up into Inyo County), says a study on the Leucadia branch will begin once a decision is made about the closure or relocation of an Escondido USPS retail store.

As with the other Encinitas community of Cardiff-by-the-Sea (92007), mail headed for Leucadia delivery is sent out from the main Encinitas USPS office on Garden View Road (as are the mail carriers).

Looking to reduce the cost of post office buildings, many neighborhood post offices are downsizing, becoming retail storefronts, and offering only retail postal services such as stamps, package shipping, and P.O. boxes. In many communities around San Diego, postal carriers have already been moved out to larger carrier annexes, where mail is sorted for delivery.

Jackson points out, however, that the possible closure of a USPS branch doesn’t mean less availability of postal services to the public; she says Office Depot and Staples are beginning to offer USPS services, at straight USPS pricing — no price mark-up, as is common with other third-party providers of postal services. In some towns, the postal service has sought out small businesses, such as greeting-card stores and neighborhood markets — for the establishment of mini postal annexes.

Fred Caldwell, owner of Caldwell Antiques, believes concern over the Leucadia post office is unfounded. “It’s not closing,” says Caldwell, Leucadia’s quasi-public relations person. Caldwell, also a graphic artist, produces historic images and publications about Leucadia. He is looked upon in the community as having his finger on the pulse of the issues.

Several people in town have told Caldwell that USPS officials have already signed a new lease for the Leucadia post office. Jackson says the issue has yet to be studied.

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