Box 5, Folder 10, Document 33

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TO: Dr. E. D. Harrison

FROM: R. E. Winn

SUBJECT: Luncheon Meeting of the Construction and Design Panel, Housing Resources
Committee, September 24, 1968, on the Georgia Tech Campus.

Those present were Vice Chaimnan Moreland Smith, Mr. Cecil Alexander, Colonel
Malcolm Jones, Mr. Herman Russell, Mr. Henry Alexander, Mr. Robert C. Watkins, and
Mr. D. P. Elliott. The following guests were also present: Mr. Malcolm Little,
Director of City Planning, Georgia Tech; Mr. Johnny Johnson, Director of Model
Cities Program, City of Atlanta; Mr. James Wright, Physical Planning Coordinator,

' Model Cities Program, City of Atlanta; and Mr. Wayne Moore, Metropolitan Planning
Commission. Reverend John A. Middleton, Mr. James Moore and Dr. E. D. Harrison
could not be present. Dr. Harrison was represented by Mr. Bob Winn.

Mr. Smith presided and called on Colonel Jones to review the status of the
Housing Resources Committee and to state Chairman Alexander's recent charge to the
Construction and Design Panel. Colonel Jones stated that as of now some 3,000
housing units have been completed and 5,000 are under construction which relate:
to the Committee's charge. A large number of units are now in planning and Colonel
Jones feels some 6,000 of these may reach the construction stage. Colonel Jones
stated they were hoping to analyze the program and future charges to the Housing
Resources Committee with Mayor Allen within a few days.

Colonel Jones also commented on a joint meeting of the Housing Resources
Committee with the Board of Aldermen's Planning and Development and Building
Committees. The building codes of Atlanta were considered and Mr. Wofford, Building
Official, was present. Mr. Wofforc felt that the codes of the City of Atlanta were
sufficient to meet the needs that exist.

The Housing Resources Committee has suggested that exceptions be made to the
codes for specific needs. Mr. Wofford requested specific recommendations for changes
or exceptions to the code be made rather than charges unsubstantiated by documentation.
Accordingly, the Construction and Design Panel is now charged with examining the code

- situation, and with working with contractors, developers and others to draft these
recommendations and remain in communication with all concerned regarding this work.

Mr. Cecil Alexander, Chairman of the Housing Resources Committee, stated that he
felt the Model Cities Program is the keystone of our efforts and that he feels a
major reason we have not as yet been chosen by HUD for experimental housing is because
our codes are not liberal enough. He noted that a series of studies have been made by
the Metropolitan Planning Commission and that Mr. Moore ( pres-iit at this meeting) is
willing to help on this most technical subject. Mr. Alexander relt that all we can do
is to spot specific deficiencies and to make recommendstions; that we cannot rewrite
the codes. He suggested the following: (1) a revi'w of code studies already performed;
(2) communications with prefabricated housing manufacturers as to their experiences
concerning codes; (3) communications with HUD concerning their requirements; (4)
communications with the building inspectors, plumbing inspectors, electrical inspectors
and so forth,

Mr. Johnny Johnson, Director of the Model Cities Program for the City of Atlanta,
stated that he felt a need to create and innovate in housing is explicit in the Model
Cities Program requirements, He feels that a part of the problent might well be in



“the interpretation of the existing codes rather than in the code itself in many cases,
He feels that the Model Cities Program should be able to do some things which are
different and that they need support for these. They will seek to receive some
freedom through the Mayor's Office, Board of Aldermen and the Building Inspector's
Office to innovate with new techniques and new materials.

Mr. Johnson noted that demonstration cities have not yet been named by HUD and
that if Atlanta pea ala we must be ready to take advantage of ‘this program. His
office has engaged Eric Hill & Company to make a study of the modifications necessary.
in the codes of Atlanta to implement Model City Programs. A copy of their findings
will be provided to the Panel. :

' Mr. Jim Wright of the Model Cities Program stated that so far the study by Eric
Hill & Company has suggested three criteria for codes: (1) they should be based on
performance as much as possible; (2) there should be as few specific restrictions as
possible, and; (3) an "or equal" clause should be inserted whenever specifics are made
a part of the code. He noted that these standards will be necessary to properly
administer the Model Cities Program. Mr. Wright believes that New York City has such

a code and possibly the City of Chicago also.

Mr. Johnson stated that some 7,000 housing units in the Model Cities area are
—~-» substandard. Thus, six or seven thousand new units will be needed in the next several
years in an area which comprises only 4% of Atlanta's land area just to relocate these


_ Mr. Moore, of the Metropolitan Planning Commission, felt that writing codes is
unnecessary and impossible. He stated that there are four model codes and that
regardless of claims, the Atlanta code is not the same as national codes. He stated
that they vary considerably and that the plumbing code in particular is far from any
national code and that most provisions in it are arbitrary. These differences should
be easy to detect and he feels the Plumbing Inspection Department should be required
to justify the requirements which vary from National Standards.

Mr. Moore suggested that to make a quick step a recommendation should be made we
to go to one of the model codes because there is no provision in the plumbing code, o
for example, for ammendment except by action of the Board of Aldermen on each specific >

point. o

Mr. Moore suggested that the Panel try to get the Southern Standard Code accepted:
and noted that the administrative offices for this code provide for professional
evaluation of new methods. Mr. Malcolm Little stated that the Southern Code is better

-——»> than the National Codes because the latter are not revised often and the Southern Code


Mr. Alexander commented on the experience of National Homes in the Thomasville
Urban Renewal Area in seeking waivers or exceptions to the code. Basically two houses ~ 7
were to be built as demonstration units. One deficiency was that there were not enough
electrical outlets. Another is that plastic waste lines and preassembled copper supply
lines and fiberglass tubs and backsplashes were not in accordance with the code.. The
preassembled copper and plastic lines were fought because "plumbers should not be
working in a factory, but outside where it is healthier." He noted, however, that the
Building Inspection and Electrical Inspection units have both said that they would
send inspectors to a factory at the expense of the manufacturer. The Plumbing Inspection

Department so far has not agreed to send inspectors to a factory if the factory is

located outside of the City of Atlanta,


Mr. Alexander proposed we consider the slogan "Model Codes for Model Cities."

Colonel Jones noted that HUD has started on some experimental construction projects

' on low-cost housing units. One is at Ashburn, Georgia, and one is in Pinellas County,

Florida. One deals with low-cost single family units and the other with "golden age"
units for the elderly.

The following steps were decided to be necessary by the Panel:

1. Coordinate efforts of the Panel with the Model Cities Program.

2. Pursue the Southern Building Code idea for implementation in Atlanta.

3. Pursue the National Electrical Code (Southern Code does not have
Electrical Code) for implementation in Atlanta.

4, Contact National Homes and other manufacturers concerning their
experiences with codes here and elsewhere.

5. Contact major manufacturers who would be involved and get their
views and enlist their support if possible.

6. Contact Mr. Wofford and other members of the Building Inspection
Department. Keep them informed. Try to enlist them.

7. Follow up with Mr. Moore concerning the efforts of the Metropolitan
Planning Commission in coordination with the Panel.

Mr. Johnson noted that the Model Cities Program in Atlanta is‘ hoping to build a
multi-unit concominium which is designed to meet the Southern Code Standards as well as

. other projects in Atlanta by March of demonstration units. He noted that it will

be necessary to provide housing for any residents displaced while construction is going on.

Mr. Little said that the School of City Planning will be doing a study of mobile type
housing which will consider the attitudes of people toward living in that type of housing.

Mr. Smith adjourned the meeting and stated that he or Dr. Harrison would reconvene
the Panel in the near future. In the meantime, he will be following up with various
members concerning the items discussed today.

The meeting was adjourned.

Colonel Malcolm Jones provided this information for the record: It is his under-
standing that a state code has been adopted which applies to manufactured housing of
the mobile home type and stated that additional information could be obtained from Mr.
John B. MOmley, Jr., Executive Vice President, Southeastern Mobile Homes Institute, Inc.,
Suite A-l, 348 East Paces Ferry Road,’N. E., Atlanta, Georgia, 30305. His telephone
number is 261-6166.

Colonel Jones called me on Wednesday, September 25, and stated that a telephone
conversation with represent. apives | of National Homes has indicated that no code revision:
was hecessary, nor any form ‘ef waiver, for installation of a number of installations in
Chicago's low-income housing program. Mr. Schmidt of National Homes Acceptance
Corporation, in Atlanta, gave this information. - It originated with Mr. Price, Chairman
of the Board of National Homes. Colonel Jones further stated that Mr. Willard Wirth of
National Homes in Lafayette, Indiana, is making a study to see what changes would be
necessary in the City of Atlanta's codes to make the same units used in Chicago
acceptable in Atlanta.

ec: Mr. Moreland Smith
Mr, Cecil Alexander
Mr. Malcolm Jones ,

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