Box 13, Folder 11, Document 73

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Office of General Manager

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June 26, 1967


Mr. Thomas J. Armstrong

Acting Assistant Regional Administrator
for Metropolitan Development

Department of Housing and Urban

Room 645, Peachtree-Seventh Building

Atlanta, Georgia 30323

Dear Mr. Armstrong:

Subject: Project No. GA, OSD-32
Application for Grant to
Develop Open-Space Land
Gun Club Park Site

We respectfully request that you consider a 50% grant for the
second phase of development of Gun Club Park Site and waive the
124% of acquisition cost limitation on this portion of the above

Gun Club is the second largest park site we have acquired under

the 1963 Park Bond Program and is located adjacent to the largest
public housing project in Atlanta. One thousand families and
approximately five thousand people live in the Perry Homes Public
Housing Project and it is absolutely essential that we complete
the development of this park at the earliest possible date. At the
present time, Perry Homes has only one small playground with which
to provide outdoor recreation for more than 3,200 children and teen-
agers. The families of Perry Homes cannot afford to leave their
immediate neighborhood in search of recreation as the median family
income is only $2,500 per year. Perry Homes is a part of Census
Tract F-87, which has been rated sixth in juvenile delinquency among
approximately 100 tracts within the city limits of Atlanta. The
need for a fully developed park is clearly reflected by the evidence
of discontent and the feeling of being long neglected expressed by
the people 0 Perry Homes community. The urgent need is amplified

by the expansion of the Perry Homes presently underway. An addition-
al 140 units consisting of three, four, and five bedrooms are now
under construction.

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Mr. Armstrong
Page Two
June 26, 1967

"We have made every effort to expedite this project and we are very

proud of the fact that we received the first Open-Space Land
Development Grant in the United States for the first phase develop-
ment of this park. However, due to the lack of funds for capital
improvements, we must develop all of our parks in phases over a
period of several years. If our application is cut to 124% of

the acquisition cost,it will materially affect our financial capacity
for additional development. Of course, all of our projects face the
same problem, but the problem is particularly acute as it relates to
Gun Club Park.

As documentation in support of our request we have enclosed a census
tract map of the city showing the area to be served by Gun Club Park;
a cadastral map of the service area, showing generalized block-front
structural conditions, blighted areas, the location of Perry Homes,
and the Rockdale Urban Redevelopment Area; an analysis of the median
family income for the area; an analysis of housing conditions in the
areas a compilation of delinquency and crime statistics for the area
to be served; a graph showing the relationship of income and crime
in Atlanta; and an analysis of age groups in Perry Homes.

The boundaries of the area to be served by Gun Club Park were deter-
mined by the Planning Department of the City of Atlanta. It should
be noted that the site consists of 42.9 acres and will serve as a
Community Park. The service area encompasses approximately 4,147
housing units and has an estimated population of 15,800. More than
30% of the people in this service area live in the Perry Homes Public

_ Housing Project, which contains 24% of all housing units in the

service area. Of the remaining housing units, 35% are substandard

We would like to point out that the analysis of median family income
is based on 1961 data, which is now obsolete and does not reflect a
true picture, with the exception of Perry Homes. This entire area
has been undergoing transition during the past several years. The
Planning Department of the City of Atlanta is conducting a survey to
determine the extent of change in racial occupancy and median family
income. cHowever,' current datavts not available at this time. We
strongly suspect that the median family income for the entire service
area is considerably less than thatreflected in the 1961 data. We

do know that the population density has increased and will continue
to increase. There are proposals for the Rockdale Urban Redevelopment
Area that would provide from 1300 to 1500 units of low-income housing.
The general location of the Rockdale Urban Redevelopment Area is

shown on the attached cadastral map.

A very comprehensive study of the causes of juvenile delinquency and
crime is embodied in the report of the Atlanta Commission on Crime and

Juvenile Delinquency, Opportunity for Urban Excellence, which was

yet enee in February, 1966. This department is striving to implement
he recommendations of this report, which repeatedly emphasizes the

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Mr. Armstrong
Page Three
June 26, 1967

lack of recreation facilities in congested, low-income areas of the
city, including the Gun Club area. As further documentation of our
request, we quote the following excerpts from Opportunity for Urban


"One of Atlanta's most serious problems with regard to
juvenile delinquency and crime is that the most congest-
ed areas of the city have the least recreation facilities...

Children need places to play other than the streets....

The Parks Department is in serious need of great financial
assistance...The present capital budget of the Parks
Department should be at least doubled...Parks should be
built in congested high crime areas of the city....

Open land is quickly disappearing in the heart of the
city as well as elsewhere, and if moves are not made
now, opportunities to establish parks in congested areas
will be forever lost....

The importance of constructive play for children....can
hardly be overstated. Similarly, with adults the construc-—
tive use of leisure time provides an outlet essential to
sound personal adjustment. Idleness and lack of interest
are known contributors to both juvenile delinquency and

i adult crime, and it is essential that the City of Atlanta

’ provide reasonable facilities and appropriate supervision’
for the play activities of its people. Persons interviewed
by the Committee pointed repeatedly to the lack of adequate
recreation facilities in many of the known poverty, high
crime areas in Atlanta...

It was the conclusion of this Committee that the Parks
Department is doing an extremely fine job with the
facilities, personnel and money presently available to
it...It is also clear, however, that this Department's
problems are staggering, and the present situation is
serious. The major percentage of the problems seems 7
directly traceable to money.

As suggested by many interviewees, we found that many of
the high crime, low income areas were not being adequately

eeoeeadjacent to the Perry Homes Area, the Department has
recently acquired the large Gun Club Park site and has
allocated $79,000 to its development. This will take care
only of first stage development - roads, sewerage and
playing fields, but there is a strong need now for a fully

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Mr. Armstrong
Page Four
June 26, 1967

developed Park site...The needs of Perry Homes were
emphasized time and time again, in particular by
police officers.

We recommend that specific steps be taken by the
City to increase the public recreational facilities
available to the poor...."

In summary, the full and complete development of Gun Club Park will
be a giant step toward correcting the many deficiencies of an older,
low income, residential community of increasing population density
that has been long devoid of public recreation facilities.

We sincerely appreciate the very valuable assistance and cooperation
of your agency and thank you for any consideration of this request.

Q. Mutu,

ck C. Delius =—

neral Manager of
arks and Recreation


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