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No address changes for north Gresham residents

Residents in North Gresham whose addresses do not match the rest of the city overwhelmingly said “no” to change. And the City Council agrees.

The city sent 2,883 surveys to north Gresham residents in December asking whether they would want the city to undergo a project to unscramble a street grid that is not congruent with the rest of the city.

The area is bounded by Northeast 205th Avenue, Northeast 226th Avenue, Northeast Stark Street and Northeast Burnside Road.

The street names in the neighborhood do not match those in the rest of the city because they were addressed under a different set of standards before the property was annexed into Gresham in the 1990s.

The survey asked residents if their address every caused an issue such as receiving the wrong mail, confusing from people visiting or delayed arrival of police, fire or ambulances.

The survey asked residents to rate whether they would feel very inconvenienced or not at all inconvenienced by a change in address, keeping in mind that people would have to do things like notify banks, utilities, family and friends of an address change.

Of the 880 responses a majority, 88 percent, said they have not had an issue with receiving the wrong mail or confusion from visitors.

But 30 percent said they would feel safer in an emergency if the neighborhood had consistent street names and addresses.

Residents said they would be very inconvenienced by a change and disagreed with the idea of changing the addresses.

“Survey respondents seemed to indicate that the current incongruent street naming and address numbering system has not created sufficient problems to merit the inconvenience of readdressing,” David Berniker, director of urban planning and design, said in a letter to residents. “After discussing the project, the mayor and council decided not to proceed with any street name or address number changes.”

Meanwhile, the city is still pursuing its request to the U.S. Postal Service to remedy jurisdictional confusion caused by residents in west Gresham having a Portland or Fairview ZIP code.

Thirty thousand people in Gresham could get a different ZIP code next year if the Postal Service decides the city’s request has merit and if residents in the affected area agree that the ZIP codes should be changed.