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Are Canada Post community mailboxes lowering property values?

CALGARY – The city of Calgary is looking into how Canada Post’s new community boxes will affect property values, as over 1,000 of the so-called super mailboxes are installed in Calgary  neighbourhoods. The new boxes are coming in as part of the phasing out of Canada Post’s door-to-door mail delivery service.

In many locations, community mailbox stations are out of the way on side lots or green spaces, and not in front of homes. But as Global News discovered Wednesday, Cedarbrae homeowner Nicole Norris is at least one exception.

“They’re going to be putting it on my front lawn, right between my two windows,” she said.

Canada Post won’t tell her why they’ve chosen her yard or say if they’ll consider other locations on her street. She’s worried it will hurt her property value, and she has reason to worry.

Realtor Puma Banwait recently lost a sale because the home was next to a large super mailbox; he says Norris has every right to complain.

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“That’s a total invasion of privacy, and that definitely will bring the price of the house down at least 10 to 20 per cent.”

But whether homeowners will get a tax break because of a box on their property isn’t clear.

The city says there isn’t enough evidence to prove super boxes lower property values, but Nelson Karpa, the director of assessment, says with over a thousand locations being added this year in Calgary, it’s something under consideration.

“We look at a property that is next to one of those super mail boxes and we take a look at similar properties that aren’t close to super mailboxes, and if there is any difference in sales value, that will give us an idea of what, perhaps, the impact of that super mailbox might be on value,” said Karpa.

If the boxes are determined to have a negative impact, he says property values and taxes will be adjusted.

Canada Post told Global News Thursday the mailbox planned outside Norris’ house isn’t final and they are now talking with her to address the issue.

Last year, 700 mailbox locations across Canada were moved after looking at alternative locations.

READ MORE: 5 ways to protect yourself from mail theft

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