Box 15, Folder 2, Document 64

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Box 15, Folder 2, Document 64

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Re spe ctfully subm itte d ,
Planning Dire ctor
February 13, 1969
�The ·purpose of this paper is to identify certain problems which have
arisen in the comprehensive planning process in Atlanta over the past year.
The problem centers around a misunderstanding of the responsibilities of
the Mode I Cities Program staff and Executive Board in relation to the
responsibilities of Planning and Development Committee and its professional
staff arm, the Planning Department.
In November 1967, the Planning and
Development Committee of the Board of Aldermen sponsored and recommended

approval of a resolution establishing the Model Cities Executive Board.
This resolution was subseque ntly adopted by the Board and approved by the
Mayor on November 20, 1967. The resolution specifically stated that
Model Neighborhood Executive Board is hereby created for the purpose of
administe ring the planning phase of (the Mod e l Neighborhood) program . 11
The Planning Department invested a great deal of time and effort both
in preparing the Model Ne ighborhood Application and subse quently in assi sting
in de ve loping the Mode l Ne ighborhood Plan.
In fact, mu ch of the mate rial
c ontained in al I the Model Cities re ports and applications originate d and was
refined in the Pla nni ng De pa rtmen t by its sta ff personne l .
It was and st i ll is
our intention to work c lose ly wi th the Mode l C it ies staff in a ssur ing the success
of th is program. There appears now to be a lack of understandi ng on the
part of the Model Cities staff as to the role and responsibility of the
Planning and Development Committee and !he Planning Department. The
committee, using the department as its staff arm, is charged wi th the
responsibility of reviewing al I plans and programs concerne d with urban
growth, development, and redevelopment throughout the city. The
Model Cities Program, on the other hand, is a spe cial purpose six
neighborhood demonstration program primar ily concerned with one te nth of
the city's residents and less than five per cent of the city's area . For
consiste ncy sake , obviously the Planning and De velopme nt Commi ttee
should review the physical programs, plans and proposals developed by this
age ncy for the Mode I Neighborhood area as it wou Id review plans and programs
of any other are a of the city for conformance with ove rall city po li cy and
goals . The Planning Department's concern is no t control over th e Model
Citie s Program.
Instead, the department is simply exercising those functions
for whi ch it is respo ns ibl e a s sta ff a rm to the Pl anni ng and Deve lopment
Committee and as set forth in the Code of the City of Atlanta. The depar tme nt,
a s a ge ne ral planning age ncy , mu st have the opportunity to rev iew plans.
When in the de partmen t 's professiona I judgme nt inadv isab le proposa ls have bee n
a dvoca ted that lack a ny justific ati o n in view of ex isting city po lic y, the n th e
department must have the o pportunity of reporting such situations with positive
re comme ndations for improve me nt to th e Planning and Deve lopm e nt Committee
�-3and eventually the Board of Aldermen.
We had assumed at the beginning that conflicts could be resolved through
a close inter··staff relationship between the city planning agency and the
Model Cities agency.
Unfortunately and frequently, because of conflict
commun_ications have broken down and th is has not been achieved. The source
of conflict has been a disagreement over the necessary degree of conformity
between Model City plans and programs and City overall goals and objectives.
The Planning Department has attempted to explore and resolve this problem
with the Model Cities staff.
However, the Model Cities staff seems to
interpret this action as a Planning Department attempt to run their program. An
analysis of their lack of understanding indicates no apparent realization of
the fact that the planning effort for a portion of the city should be coordinated
with the city's overall planning effort.
It is important to point out here that we
ore not attempting to stiffle the Model Cities Program or to prevent innovative
approaches to problem solving. To take such a view ignores the fact that
through the leadership and effort of the Planning Department, with much assistance
from oth er agencies, Atlanta was awarded one of the first Model Citi es Grants
in the nation.
Perhaps this whole misunderstanding is based on the Mode l Cities staff's
perception of the Planning De partme nt as a I ine department.
Planning transcends
traditional departmental lines, is a staff function, and established responsibilities
as de fined in the Code of th e City of Atlanta must be met. One of HUD 's
under lying goals for the Mode l Cities Program was to bring into clear focus
�-4problems in governmenta I organization. The department has been we II
awa re of such prob le ms in th e Atlanta gove rnm e ntal system as witnessed in
the PAS report, a product of th e Cl P and pl.anning. Though that report found
fault with the governmental system, it indicated that the present system
has worked very well, primarily on the basis of mutual trust and cooperation.
In order to avoid further conflicts it is imperative that such a cooperative
atmosphere be established.
It is inadvisable that the aldermanic committee
system be used at times and ignored at others, depending on which happens
to serve one's purpose best at a particular time.
It is difficult enough to
make the system work now. The proposed approach being offered by the
Model Cities Program (which is to ignore the aldermanic committee system}
would invite chaos, unless a suitable and acce ptabl e ove ral I re form is
The Planning and Development Committee expressed its concern over this
problem in its meeting of January 17, 1969. Chairman Cook asked the Model
Cities director several questions concerning the role of the Planning and
Development Committee , other aldermanic committees, and city departments
in the Model Citie s Program. Mr . Johnson took the position that the Mode l
Ci tie s Executive Board would report to the full Board of Aldermen through the
two alderman ic membe rs of the Exe cutive Board. Th is procedure , in effect ,
bypasses the Planning and Deve lopment Committee and to a large extent
ignores the a ldermanic standing commi ttee conc e pt unde r which the Atla nta
City Government presently operates.
In effect, the Model Cities area is th us
�-5treated as a separate entity, apart from the total city.
It offers no
opportunity for the Planning and Development Committee to review Model
Cities plans and to make recommendations to the Board
ol Aldermen
concerning plan conformity with city general plans. Chairman Cook further
indicated that the Planning Department had certain reservations about
physical plans for the Model Cities area and asked what role would be
played by the Planning Department in further testing plans for the area. Mr.
Johnson stated that he felt the physical plans for 1969 required no change.
Here lies the crux of the problem.
Mr. Cook stated that the Planning Department
was responsible for al I planning activities throughout the city, therefore,
the Planning and Development Committee has the responsibility to review and
evaluate physical plans developed for the Mode I Cities area.
This paper deals with a confrontation in responsibilities between the
Model Cities staff and Executive Board, the Planning Department and Planning
and Development Committee of the Board of Aldermen. We strongly suspect
that the fundamental problems and issues involved here cou Id spread. Thus, other
confrontations could develop between other departments and their aldermanic
committees and the Model Cities staff and Executive Board.
In this light, we offer the following recommendations:
The adoption of a formal review procedure by the Boa rd of Aldermen that
is consistent with the existing aldermanic committee system is warranted.
other words, every resolution, ordinance, etc ., when introduced into the Board
�-6· of Aldermen meeting, must be referred to a standing committee of the Board
of Aldermen unless such a rule of procedure is waived by majority vote of
the full Board of Aldermen. A time I imit on the period of review by the
standing committee of the Board of Aldermen could be specified. As with all
issues concerning the city, the matter will eventually be resolved on its
merits by the full Board of Aldermen.
The value of such formal review procedure by the Board of Aldermen
should be fairly apparent.
It keeps the appropriate aldermanic committees
end department staffs informed of proposals and offers an opportunity for
reviewing, making recommendations and achieving coordination.
As mentioned earlier, to ignore the aldermanic committee system is
to invite chaos, unless a suitable and acceptable overall reform is accomplished.
A second alternative approach to the current situation would be to immediately
move toward es tab I ish ing a Department of Administration in the Mayor's Office
as recommended by the PAS Report. Such a department would include the
following functions: Planning, Budgeting and Management, Personnel, Public
Information, and Data Processing. The Model Cities Program, with its innovative
approaches and demonstrations, would serve as a testing vehicle for administrative
and technical purposes and would be responsible to the Mayor and Board of
Aldermen through the Department of Administration.
�. f -·. J
I ~
Chapter 32
Sec. 32-1.
Sec. 32-2.
Sec. 32-3,
Sec. 32-4.
Sec. 32-5.
Sec. 32-6.
Duties of planning department.
Duties of planning engineer.
Determination of phasing and of allocations to be devoted
to project areas.
Dekrmination of locations of projects.
Rezoning recommendations.
Processing· applications embracing subdivisions, requests
for building permits.
Commitments by builders.
Minimum structural requirements.
Varying specifications in description of materials.

D~signation of chang es in "description of materials".

Restriction on issuance of building permits. ·
Technical committee.
Reserved .
"'- .Sec. 32-1. Duties of planning department.
Urban renewal activities of the city shall be conducted in
the department of planning under the general supervision
of the mayor and board of aldermen through the planning and
development committee. The department of planning shall
study the urban renewal requirements of the city, to determine
ways and means for their accomplishment, and to promote and
facilitate timely coordination and orderly development of
urban renewal plans, projects and other related activities
throughout the city. (Cum. Supp., § 56A.3; Ord. of 6-1-64,
§ 2; Ord. of 12-21-64)
Editor's note-The planning and development committee has been
substituted for the urban r enewal committee in §§ 32-1, 32-2 and 32-13,
pursuant to Ord. of Dec. 21, 1964 aboli shing the urban r enewal committee and transferring its functions to the planning and development
Sec. 32-2. Duties of planning engineer.
The planning engineer shall devote p·a rticular attention
to the requirements and commitments of the "workable program", as defined in the National Housing Act of 1954, as
amended, and shall call tipon the various departments, agen*Cross references-Minimum housing standards, § 15-21 et seq.;
responsibility of department of -.building inspector relative to demolition of buildings,§ 8-12; director of urban renewal emeritus,§ 21-75(y).
State law reference-Powers of municip·a Jities as to urban r enewal,
Ga. Code, Ch . 69-11.
Supp . No. 5

§ 32-2
. § 32-5
cies and agents of the city, as required, to carry out their responsibilities thereunder to include annual revisions for recertifications of th~ "workable program". The planning engineer shall ins ure coordination of capital improvement projects with urk.n renewal project plans in order to obtain the
best possible advantage for the city. H e shall frequently consult wit h the mayo:;: and chairman of the planning and development committee of the board of aldermen and keep them
informed as to urban renewal requirements and the state of
development of the city's urban renewal plans, a nd shall make
recommendations thel'eon for facilita.ting progress of urban
· renewal in the city. ( Cum. Supp., § 56A.3; Ord. of 6-1-64, § 2;
Ord. of 12-21-64)
Note-See editor's note following § 32-1.
Sec. 32-3. Determination of phasing and all allocatior:~. to be
. devoted to project areas.
The planning department, in coordination with the housing
authority of the city, will determine the phasing considered
desirable for construction of F.H.A. 221 housing allocations
and what portions thereof, if any, should be devoted to urban
renewal project areas, and shall make recommendations accordingly to local F.H.A. officials . .(Cum. Supp., § 56A.4;
Ord. of 6-1-64, § 2)
.,,.,., I
Sec. 32-4. Determination of locations of projects.
The planning depa1tment will study proposed loca tions for
such projects and determine those considered most suitable
from the city's standpoint for 221 ho•.1sing projects and shall
coordinate thereon with local F.RA. offi cials. (Cum. Supp.,
§ 56A.5; Ord. of 6-1-64, § 2)
Sec. 32-5. Rezoning recommendations.
The Atlanta-Fulton County joint planning board will make
timely recommendations to the zon ing committee for rezoning
such areas as it considers appropriate in order to facilitate
the 221 hous ing progn1m. (Cum. Supp., § 56A.6; Ord. of
Editor's note- Ord. of Dec. 21, 1964 r edesignated the planning· and
zoning committee as the zoning committee.
·Supp. No. 5

�·• J
§ 2-39
§ 2-40.i
recommendations with references to civil defense ; to supervise the expenditure of appropriations made to civil defense
by the city for civil defense purposes, and to hand]€ all matters
in connection therewith. (Code 1953, § 28.11; Orel. No. 19GG46, § 2, G-20-GG)
Amendment note-Ord. No. 19G6-46, § 2, enacted ,Tune 20i I96G, an_d
effective Dc,cember 31, 19GG, amended § 2-39 to add the prov1s1ons codlfied herein as subsection (b).
Cross references-Duty to grant permits to places selling sandwiches,
soft drinks, §§ 17-159, 17-lGO; duty to formulate rule? and re_gulations
for police departm ent, § 25-l(a); duty to pass on pernuts and licenses, §
Sec. 2-40. Special duty of finance committee relative to annual
tax ordinance.
In addition to the powers, duties and authority set forth in
sections 2-29 and 2-31, the finance committee shall ·prepa re
and report to the m ayor and board of aldermen the anm1ai tax
ordinance. (Code 1953, § 28.12)
Cross references-Duty of building and electric lights commi~tee to
supervise department of building inspec tor, § 8-3; power of t2:c committee to cancel business license penalties and fi. fa. costs, § 17-24;
petitions for license to peddle articles not enumerated in annual tax
ordinance to be referred to finance committee, § 17-323.
- Sec. 2-40.1. Planning and development committee.
(a) Creatio·n. A committee of the board of aldermen is
hereby created to be entitled the planning and development
(b) Me1nbershs-i1J. The planning and development committee shall l;>e composed of six members and a chairman (total of
seven) to be appointed by the mayor. The mayor shall appoint
the planning and development committee so that a representation is obtained of alctermanic committees concerned with
community development, redevelopment and impro v"'ments.
(c) Functions, responsibilities. This planning and development committee shall have the primary responsibility to review and coordinate the long range plans and programs of all
city efforts in the fields of community development, redevelopment, facilities and improvements, and to make suggestions
to other appropriate aldermanic committees or recommend
actions and policies for adoption by the board of alciE:rmen to
Supp. No. 4

�·• J
§ 2-40.1
§ 2-41
insure maximum coordination and the highest quality of
urban community development. This responsibility shall in~
elude the review and evaluation of the ele)11ents of the comprehensive (general) plan development by the planning department with guidance from the Atlanta-Fulton County
Joint Planning Bo~rd; this comprehensive plan to be composed
of at least a land-use plan, a major thoroughfare plan and a
community facilities plan with public improvements program.
The committee shall further be responsible for developing
policy recommendations on all other matters concerning the
planning and coordination of future city developments including, specifically, the community improvements program
(CIP), the 1962 Federal Highway Act, the workable program
for community improvement, urban renewal preliminary and
project plans, and other related urban renewal matters. (Ord.
of 12-21-64)
Editor's note- Ord. of Dec. 21, 19G4, from which ~ 2-40.1 is derived,
did not expressly amend this Code, hence the manner of codification
was at the discretion of the editors. That part of said ordi!!ance abolishing the urban re newal committee and providing· for transfer of its
functions and activities to the planning and development committee, has
riot been codified as part of this section.
Sec. 2-40.2. Urban renewal policy committee; membership.
There . is hereby established a standing committee of the
board of aldermen to be known · as the urban renewal policy
committee, to consist of five (5) members of the board of
aldermen, to be appointed by the mayor, including the chairman, the vice-chairman and one other regular member of the
planning and development committee, and two members to be
appointed by the chairman of the Housing Authority of the
city. (Ord. of 1-18-65)
Editor's note- Ord. of J a n. 18, . 1965 did not expressly amend this
Code, h ence the manner of codifica~:on was at the discretion of the
editors. The preamble to said ordinance recited the f ;:~t that said committee, pursuant to resolution, is c::::::rdinating urban renewal activities
and programs between the city and its urban renewal agent, the housing
Sec. 2-41. Duties of zoning committee.
The duties of the zoning committee shall be to hold any
public hearing required to be held by the provisions of the
Zoning and Planning Act of the General Assembly of Georgia
approved January 31, 1946, and contained in Georgia Laws
Supp. No. 6

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