What is the Street Addressing Initiative? Who is involved?
The Street Addressing Initiative (SAI) is a project spearheaded by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, and involving many agencies and departments of the Virgin Islands Government, including the Tax Assessor, GIS, Public Works, Planning and Natural Resources, WAPA, Historic Preservation, VITEMA (Emergency Management/E-911), Police, Health, viNGN and others. In addition, Innovative and other private companies are assisting the Government with the Project. The Government has partnered with the University of the Virgin Islands - Eastern Caribbean Center, Applied Geographics (AppGeo) and Spatial Focus, Inc. to develop the addressing system, and to conduct a pilot study that will test methods for assigning address numbers throughout the Territory.
The SAI will ultimately create a street address for every home, business, and other building within the U.S.V.I. At present, the pilot project is underway to test the addressing system and street naming processes. Small areas on each of the 3 major islands (STT, STX, STJ) are included in this pilot program.
I like my current address. Why do I need a new address?
Current addresses are based on Estate Names and Plot numbers. These numbers were not assigned in an orderly manner, and have resulted in a confusing pattern of numbering that makes finding an individual house or business difficult. Addresses work because they are arranged in logical, sequential patterns, with well-identified street names, and posted numbers. The SAI will provide a new address number that will conform to a logical and well documented system of numbering. This type of addressing will provide broad benefits such as improved E-911, efficiency for utility service providers and delivery companies like UPS and Fedex. In general, logical addressing helps ensure that others can find you more quickly in an emergency and/or to deliver services or goods.
Why is my new address number so high? Why is my new address so different than my plot number?
Your new street address is based on a numbering system developed for the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each island has two numbering systems. For St. Croix, these are centered on the towns of Frederiksted and Christiansted. For St. Thomas, these are centered at Government House in Charlotte Amalie, and at Red Hook. For St. John, they are centered in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. Lower numbers are used in the towns, and increase as you travel further from these centers. Your new number reflects the relative distance from these starting points.
Plot numbers were created when the land in your Estate was subdivided into lots, or when the original lots were re-subdivided. The numbering does not necessarily follow the street pattern, or maintain a logical sequence. This makes it difficult for emergency responders, service providers, and others to find your home or place of business. These numbers are not useful as addresses. They are, however, useful as property identifiers, and will be maintained for that purpose.
I thought that I lived on a different street than I have been assigned. Why do I have to change my street name?
To the greatest extent possible, where streets have existing, official names that have been in use, the SAI will use those names. However, many streets were never officially named when they were created, and the SAI will be working with neighborhood groups and Homeowners’ Associations to designate names for these streets. In a small number of cases, where there are duplicate names, the SAI will need to change one of the names. The Addressing Team will try to minimize the disruption caused by these street name changes.
Now that I have been assigned a new address, what are the next steps?
The first, most important step is to post your new address on the front of your house or business in a location that is visible from the street (see next question below). The project team will be communicating your new number and street name to WAPA, Innovative, and VITEMA/E-911 and to the US Postal Service, and other governmental agencies so that these agencies know what your new address is.
Are there any guidelines for putting my new number on my house or business?
Numbers should be at least 4” tall, and should be in a contrasting color from the background color of your house. For example, if your house is a light color or white, please use black, dark blue, brown or dark green numbers. If your house is a dark color, please use white, or light colored numbers. Please be certain that your number is completely visible from the street. If your home or building is not visible from the street, the number can be placed on a sign located at the driveway leading to your home or building. Again, the numbers should be a contrasting color to the sign’s background. The examples below show good posted address numbers. Remember that your number must be visible from the street. If your home or business is not visible from the street, you should use a free-standing sign on a post at least 30 inches in height. Numbers should be on both sides of the sign.
What date is my street address effective?
New addresses are effective as of July 1, 2013. There will be a public announcement through radio, television and other media to let you know that you should begin using your new number and street name. You may post your new number as soon as it has been assigned.
Can I still use my old address?
Many people will continue to use their old address for historic reasons. However, for purposes of US Mail, E-911, and utility services, you are strongly encouraged to use your new SAI address. The existing number is most likely your lot number for tax purposes, and will be retained by the Tax Assessor to identify your property parcel for tax assessment and billing.
When will I see a street sign on my street?
The SAI is working with the Government and Department of Public Works to develop a street signage program.
What is my COMPLETE ADDRESS? What is my ZIP Code? What should I write on letters?
Your complete address includes your address number, street name, Estate name, plus the Island and ZIP Code. If you currently have a ZIP Code, please keep using it. We will be working with the U.S. Postal Service to identify areas which may need new or additional ZIP Codes.
Example of a complete address:
5407 Guava Berry Drive, Mon Bijou
St. Croix, USVI, 00850
Is my plot number still the same?
Yes, there is NO change to your plot number.
I was assigned a provisional road name. What should I do to be assigned a permanent, official road name?
In some cases, where a neighborhood has unnamed streets, the SAI will be using a provisional street name. These names will include the name of the Estate and a number to identify the specific “unnamed” road in the Estate. For example, “Contant Provisional Road 10”. The SAI is asking the property owners along each of the streets to suggest a name for the street, and submit it to the SAI for confirmation and approval. If your property is on one of these streets, you will find further information about this process in the addressing packet left on your property.
For further information on the street naming process, please visit the top of the page.
Alternatively, contact the Street Addressing Initiative by telephone or mail at the addresses on your door hanger.
Will my new address affect my utility service? Will my electricity and phone provider use my new address? Will there be loss of service?
Your utility services, phone services, etc. will not be affected. The SAI is providing each of the utilities with a listing of all existing and new addresses, so that they may update their records. This does not require any action on your part. Once updated, the providers will use your new address as a service address. If you use a P.O. Box or other mailing address, these will not be changed.
When will the rest of the islands get new addresses?
The current pilot project is expected to be finished in July, 2013. The U.S.V.I. Government is currently seeking funding for addressing for the remainder of the Territory as well as for street signage. The Government is hopeful that the remaining areas of the Territory can be addressed within the next 2-4 years.