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What’s in a name? Carmel City Council considers adding house addresses to Carmel-by-the-Sea

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (KION-TV)- Carmel City Council is having their meeting on Tuesday afternoon. One of the topics they will be discussing is to consider adopting street addresses.

People who have lived there for over a century have not had numbered addresses, but a new city report highlights the potential safety risks that come with that. 

In the report, Carmel Police Chief Paul Tomasi said the lack of numbered addresses impacts emergency response capabilities. He said it can slow down AMR ambulance services, which account for 15-20% of the city's medical emergencies.

It also limits how specific the Monterey County emergency notification system can be since it is address-based. During a situation where Cal Fire or FEMA are involved, the city's current system could also slow down their response times. 

The California Fire Code requires addresses to be visible and legible. Some people in Carmel said they oppose having street addresses because they think not having it makes the city unique.

They also fear the post office will close.

"The likelihood of closing the Carmel-by-the-Sea post office is something that none of us want, especially those of us who prefer to pick up the postal packages in mail," said Nancy Twomey, who lives in Carmel. 

Unlike Twomey, other people are interested in implementing street addresses. 

"I think it helps emergency situations. [It would be] easier to find your house if there's a problem, easier for the mail delivery," said Alfred Spallino, who also lives in Carmel. 

The staff report said street addresses will not impact door-to-door mail delivery services. They also said the downtown post office won't close if this new system is implemented. However, they couldn't guarantee if the post office would stay open in the far future.

The report also said Monterey County fire dispatchers have a mapping system for the city, which has proved useful in emergency situations. 

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. (KION-TV)- Times are changing and seemingly nothing is immune, including Carmel-by-the-Sea which was incorporated in 1916 and has never used formal street addresses.

Rather, residents have added to the "village charm" by naming their homes, such as the “Casa del Caballo”, the “Hansel & Gretal” cottages, the "Storybook Cottage," and so on. While owners and visitors alike might love the idea many have pointed out the many problems having no addresses can create.

Namely, the use of app services like "Lyft" and "Postmates" is a nightmare. The third red house from the left isn't exactly easy to find on Google Maps.

The discussion has been had for the better for 107 years, but now seemingly discussions are starting to ramp up on the real possibility of Carmel-by-the-Sea having street addresses.

On the City Council agenda, there will be a presentation on the exploration of street addresses and providing staff with direction. If the council decides to move forward with seeking street addresses a
"a collaborative working relationship is established with the USPS Growth manager or representative, staff
would return to the City Council with a roadmap and timeline for community engagement and outreach for the process."

The implementation of street addresses would not impact door-to-door mail delivery services to keep the downtown post office open as it is a social hub for residents.

However, the lack of street addresses has created problems with residents getting mailed essential necessities and medication. Getting a real California ID has become increasingly difficult without a proper address as has securing loans and even a line of credit.

The city council will begin their biweekly meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Article Topic Follows: Carmel/Carmel Valley
carmel addresses
Carmel by the sea
monterey county

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