Should the city pursue getting its own ZIP code? Centennial council members discussed the issue during the March 7 meeting.
Councilmember Mike Sutherland brought up the matter and requested city staff try applying for a ZIP code, or ZIP codes, for the city.
“We’ve talked a lot about identity over all the years I’ve been on council. We’ve talked about how we don’t have a ZIP code,” Sutherland said. “I think a ZIP code or two would be appropriate.”
Sutherland said Centennial shares ZIP codes with Aurora, Littleton, Englewood and portions of Douglas County. The city, home to more than 100,000 people, has a land area of roughly 30 square miles, according to its website.
Roughly five years ago, U.S. Rep. Jason Crow gave the city a roadmap on this matter and explained that the U.S. Postal Service is the agency to go to, Sutherland said.
“I think we need it for identity purposes. I think we need it for businesses to understand where to send their tax dollars,” Sutherland said. “I understand that it’s up to the U.S. Postal Service as to whether to grant ZIP codes or not, and it may be a futile process.
“And it’s been attempted before, but it’s been at least nine or 10 years since the attempt was made before,” he added. “I think we ought to at least make the attempt to do it.”
Councilmember Marlo Alston voiced support of the idea.
“We are working on our identity,” Alston said. “And we deserve to have someone pull up our ZIP code and say, 'Oh, Centennial’ — not Aurora. And that happens quite often.”
Councilmember Don Sheehan said that he likes the idea, but he wondered what impact a ZIP code change may have on businesses.
“Any established business is going to have probably a website, they’re going to have letterhead, they’re going to have legal filings, and a lot of documentation that’s going to have whatever ZIP code they’re a part of right now,” Sheehan said. “And if they had to change that, that could be a pretty significant cost or burden on a significant number of businesses.”
Mayor Stephanie Piko said the city has raised this issue with Crow’s office in the past and with the office of U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper.
“I think it does, pretty much, put everybody in a stumped position, if you will, of not really knowing how to go forward or even get it passed, but it would be worth looking at, so I would support having us look at it again,” Piko said.
All members of the council gave a thumbs up for moving forward with the matter.
Centennial is not the only municipality interested in getting its own ZIP code. The City of Castle Pines has been trying to change its ZIP code since 2018.
In 2021, the Castle Pines Community Act was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives with sponsorship from U.S. Rep. Ken Buck. The bill directs the U.S. Postal Service to designate a single ZIP code for Castle Pines.
This act was brought up during a Lone Tree City Council study session on March 7 as part of a legislative update from Jeff Holwell, the city’s director of economic development and public affairs.
“We met with the folks at Castle Pines and also with Representative Buck’s office, and potentially it’s an opportunity for us, as we consider, you know, building into 80134, whether it makes sense to have 80124 as a uniform zip code for the City of Lone Tree,” Holwell said.
Holwell explained there are a series of pieces of legislation written that relate to this issue, as well as a potential for Lone Tree to be added to the list of communities interested in a ZIP code.
It may take years before the legislation is introduced, but having it drafted and ready may not be a bad thing if the council agreed, he said.
Lone Tree Mayor Jackie Millet pointed out that the council does not make decisions during its study sessions, but noted a lot of the council members were nodding their heads.
“We might as well try to consider it if it’s happening, so we’ll be working on that and keep you updated,” Holwell said.