[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Amherst 6-4-2018 by L.L. No. 17-2018. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A mailbox or newspaper delivery box, hereafter referred to as mailbox, shall not be allowed to exist in the Town's right-of-way if, in the opinion of the Highway Superintendent, it interferes with the safety of the traveling public or the function, maintenance, or operation of the street, road, or highway system.
The location and construction of mailboxes shall conform to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Postal Service as well as to standards established in this Chapter.
A mailbox installation that conforms to the criteria in this Chapter shall be acceptable unless the Town's Highway Superintendent determines that it interferes with the safety of the traveling public or the function, maintenance or operation of the street, road or highway system in which circumstances a right-of-way permit shall be obtained from the Town's Highway Superintendent. A right-of-way permit shall not be required in the case of a conforming installation.
Where discretionary action is required by the Town's Highway Superintendent, application shall be made to the Town's Highway Superintendent and written permission received prior to installation of the mailbox.
Access. A mailbox shall not be permitted where access is otherwise prohibited by New York law or regulations promulgated by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and/or Department of Transportation.
Placement. A mailbox shall be placed on the right-hand side of the roadway, in the direction of the delivery route, except on one-way streets where they may be placed on the left-hand side. The bottom of the mailbox shall be at an elevation between four (4) feet and four (4) feet four (4) inches above the roadway surface.
Normal Offset. The roadside face of the mailbox shall be offset from the edge of the traveled way a minimum distance of the greater one of the following:
Offset on Curbed Streets. The roadside face of the mailbox shall be set back to a distance of between ten (10) and twelve (12) inches from the curb face.
Offset on Residential Low-Volume, Low-Speed Roads without Curb or All-Weather Shoulders. The roadside face of the mailbox shall be offset between eight (8) and twelve (12) inches behind the edge of pavement.
Offset on Very Low-Volume, Low-Speed Rural Roads. The roadside face of the mailbox may be offset six (6) feet eight (8) inches from the traveled way as determined by the Town's Highway Superintendent. Clearances as low as two (2) feet eight (8) inches may be authorized by the Highway Superintendent.
Driveway Entrance. Mailboxes at driveway entrances shall be placed on the far side of the driveway fifteen (15) feet from the far side of the driveway in the direction of the delivery route.
Intersecting Street or Road. When a mailbox is located at an intersection, it shall be placed a minimum distance of one hundred (100) feet beyond the center of the intersecting street in any direction of the delivery route. When the average daily traffic on the intersecting street exceeds four hundred (400) vehicles per day, the distance shall be two hundred (200) feet.
Guardrail. Where a mailbox is to be installed in the vicinity of an existing guardrail, it shall be placed behind the guardrail unless application is made and written permission received from the Town's Highway Superintendent.
The following sizes of mailboxes as authorized by the U.S. Postal Service are authorized to be installed in the Town:
Nineteen (19) inch length, six and one half (6 1/2) inch width, eight and one half (8 1/2) inch height;
Twenty-one (21) inch length, eight and three-fourths (8 3/4) inch width, ten and one half (10 1/2) inch height;
Twenty-three and one-half (23 1/2) inch length, eleven and one half (11 1/2) inch width, thirteen and one half (13 1/2) inch height.
Materials. Mailboxes shall be of light sheet metal, fiberglass, plastic or light material construction and conform to the requirements of the U.S. Postal Service. Newspaper delivery boxes shall be of light sheet metal or plastic construction and of minimum dimensions suitable for holding a newspaper.
Number of Boxes. No more than two (2) mailboxes shall be mounted on a support structure unless the support structure and mailbox arrangement have been shown to be safe by crash testing as conducted by the Federal Highway Administration or the New York State Department of Transportation. Lightweight newspaper delivery boxes may be mounted below the mailbox on the side of the mailbox support.
Concrete Foundation. Mailbox supports shall be placed in native soil or in crushed aggregate base materials whenever these materials provide adequate support. Mailbox supports shall not be placed in concrete unless necessary for support. Mailbox supports shall not be set in concrete placed at a depth any greater than twelve (12) inches.
Posts. A single four (4) inch by four and one half (4 1/2) inch diameter wooden post or metal post with a strength no greater than a two (2) inch diameter standard strength steel pipe, and embedded no more than twenty four (24) inches into the ground shall be acceptable as a mailbox support. A metal post shall not be fitted with an anchor plate, but it may have an anti-twist device that extends no greater than ten (10) inches below the ground surface.
Attachment. The post-to-mailbox attachment details shall be of sufficient strength to prevent the mailbox from separating from the post top if the installation is struck by a vehicle or a snow plow. The minimum spacing between the centers of support posts shall be three-fourths (3/4) of the height of the posts above the ground line.
It shall be the responsibility of the postal patron to inform the Town's Highway Superintendent of any new or existing mailbox installation where shoulder construction of a Town maintained street is inadequate to allow all-weather vehicular access to the mailbox.
Any mailbox that is found to violate the intent of this Chapter shall be declared unacceptable and removed by the postal patron upon notification by the Town's Highway Superintendent. At the discretion of the Town's Highway Superintendent, based on an assessment of hazard to the public, the postal patron shall be granted not less than twenty-four (24) hours, nor more than thirty (30) days, to remove an unacceptable mailbox. After the specified removal period has expired, the unacceptable mailbox shall be removed by the Town at postal patron's expense.
If a mailbox is not installed according to the requirements of this Chapter, the Town will not be liable to repair or replace the mailbox if damaged by a Town owned snowplow.