Box 15, Folder 4, Document 31

Dublin Core

Text Item Type Metadata





Respectfully submitted,


Collier B. Gladin
Pianning Director

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 Model 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 subsequently adopted by the Board and approved by the
Mayor on November 20, 1967. The resolution specifically stated that "the

Model Neighborhood Executive Board is hereby created for the purpose of

administering the planning phase of (the Model Neighborhood) program."

The Planning Department invested a great deal of time and effort both
in preparing the Model Neighborhood Application and subsequently in assisting
in developing the Model Neighborhood Plan. In fact, much of the material
contained in all the Model Cities reports and applications originated and was
refined in the Planning Department by its staff personnel. It was and still is

our intention to work closely with the Model Cities staff in assuring the success


of this program. There appears now to be a lack of understanding on the

part of the Model Cities staff as to the role and responsibility of the

Planning and Development Committee and the Planning Department. The
committee, using the department as its staff arm, is charged with the
responsibility of reviewing all plans and programs concerned with urban

growth, development, and redevelopment throughout the city. The

Model Cities Program, on the other hand, is a special purpose six

neighborhood detonation program primarily concerned with one tenth of

the city's residents and less than five per cent of the city's area. For
conaislenoy sake, obviously the Planning and Development Committee

should review the physical programs, plans and proposals developed by this
agency for the Model Neighborhood area as it would review plans and programs
of any other area of the city for conformance with overall city policy and
goals. The Planning Department's concern is not control over the Model

Cities Program. Instead, the department is simply exercising those functions
for which it is responsible as staff arm to the Planning and Development
Committee and as set forth in the Code of the City of Atlanta. The department,
as a general planning agency, must have the opportunity to review plans.

When in the department's professional judgment inadvisable proposals have been
advocated that lack any justification in view of existing city policy, then the
department must have the opportunity of reporting such situations with positive

recommendations for improvement to the Planning and Development Committee


and 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 renusnely because of conflict
communications have broken down and this 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
are 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 other agencies, Atlanta was awarded one of the first Model Cities Grants
in the nation.

Perhaps this whole misunderstanding is based on the Model Cities staff's
perception of the Planning Department as a line department. Planning transcends
traditional departmental lines, is a staff function, and established responsibilities
as defined in the Code of the City of Atlanta must be met. One of HUD's

underlying goals for the Model Cities Program was to bring into clear focus


problems in governmental organization. The department has been well
aware of such problems in the Atlanta governmental system as witnessed in
the PAS report, a product of the CIP and planning. 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 acceptable overal! reform 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 Cities Program. Mr. Johnson took the position that the Model
Cities Executive Board would report to the full Board of Aldermen through the
two aldermanic members of the Executive Board. This procedure, in effect,
bypasses the Planning and Development Committee and to a large extent
ignores the aldermanic standing committee concept under which the Atlanta

City Government presently operates. In effect, the Model Cities area is thus


treated 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 of 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 all planning activities throughout the city, therefore,
the Planning and Development Committee has the responsibility to review and
evaluate physical plans developed for the Model 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 could 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 Board of Aldermen that
is consistent with the existing aldermanic committee system is warranted. In

other words, every resolution, ordinance, etc., when introduced into the Board


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 limit 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
and department staffs informed of proposals and offers an opportunity for
reviewing, making recommendations and achieving coordination.

As mentioned earlier, to ignore the ei iiyait 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 establishing 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.


Chapter 32

Sec. 32-1. Duties of planning department.

See. 32-2. Duties of planning engineer.

Sec. 32-3. Determination of phasing and of allocations to be devoted
to project areas.

Sec. 82-4. Determination of locations of projects.

Sec. 32-5. Rezoning recommendations.

Sec. 32-6. Processing applications embracing subdivisions, requests
for building permits.

Sec. 32-7. Commitments by builders.

Sec. 32-8. Minimum structural requirements.

Sec. 32-9. Vacying specifications in description of materials.

Sec. 32-10. Designation of changes in “description of materials”.

Sec. 32-11. Restriction on issuance of building permits.

Sec. 32-12. Vechnical committee,

Sec, 32-13. Feserved.

Nu 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 renewal committee in §§ 32-1, 32-2 and 32-13,

pursuant to Ord. of Dec. 21, 1964 abolishing the urban renewal com-
mittee and transferring its functions to the planning and development

N Sec. 32-2. Duties of planning engineer.

The planning engineer shall devote particular attention
to the requirements and commitments of the “workable pro-
gram’, as defined in the National Housing Act of 1954, as
amended, and shall call upon the various departments, agen-

*Cross_references—Minimum housing standards, § 15-21 et seq.;
responsibility of department of -building inspector relative to demoli-
tion of buildings, § 8-12; director of urban renewal emeritus, § 21-75(y).

State law reference—Powers of municipalities as to urban renewal,
Ga. Code, Ch. 69-11.

Supp. No. 5

* .

1617 ‘

§ 32-2 ATLANTA CODE ‘ § 32-5

cies and agents of the city, as required, to carry out their re-
sponsibilities thereunder to include annual revisions for re-
certifications of the “workable program’. The planning en-
gineer shall insure coordination of capital improvement proj-

ects with urban renewal project plans in order to obtain the

best possible advantage for the city. He shall frequently con-
sult with the mayor and chairman of the planning and de-
velopment 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, and shall make
recommendations thereon for facilitating progress of urban
‘renewal in the city. (Cum. Supp., § 564.3; 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 allocations to be
devoted te 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 ac-
cordingly to local F.H.A. officials. (Cum. Supp., § 56A.4;
Ord. of 6-1-64, § 2)

Sec. 32-4. Determination of locations of projects.

The planning department will study proposed locations for
such projects and determine those considered most suitable
from the city’s standpoint for 221 housing projects and shall
coordinate thereon with local F.H.A. officials. (Cum. Supp.,
§ 564.5; Ord. of 6-1-64, $ 2)

Sec. 32-5. Rezoning recommendations.

The Atlanta-Fulton County joint planning board will make
timely recommendations to the zoning committee for rezoning
such areas as it considers appropriate in order to facilitate
the 221 housing program. (Cum. Supp., § 564.6; Ord. of

Editor’s note—Ord. of Dec. 21, 1964 redesignated the planning and
zoning committee as the zoning committee.

Supp. No. 5



§ 2-39 ATLANTA CODE § 2-40.1

recommendations with references to civil defense; to super-
vise the expenditure of appropriations made to civil defense
by the city for civil defense purposes, and to handle all matters
in connection therewith. (Code 19538, § 28.11; Ord. No. 1966-
46, § 2, 6-20-66)

Amendment nete—Ord, No. 1966-46, § 2, enacted June 20, 1966, and

effective December 31, 1966, amended § 2-39 to add the provisions codi-

fied herein as subsection (b) ,

Cross references—Duty to grant permits to places selling sandwiches,
soft drinks, §§ 17-159, 17-160; duty to formulate rules and regulations
for police department, § 25-1(a); duty to pass on permits 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 prepare
and report to the mayor and board of aldermen the annul tax
ordinance. (Code 1953, § 28.12)

Cross references—Duty of building and electric lights commiitee to
supervise department of building inspector, § 8-3; power of tax com-
mittee to cancel business license penalties and fi. fa. costs, § 17-24;

petitioris for license to peddle articles not enumerated in annual tax
ordinance to be referred to finance committee, § 17-323.

_ See. 2-40.1. Planning and development committee.

(a) Creation. A committee of the board of aldermen is
hereby created to be entitled the planning and development

(b) Membershsip. The planning and development commit-

tee shall be composed of six members and a chairman (total of
seven) to be appointed by the mayor. The mayor shal! appoint
the planning and development committee so that a representa-
tion is obtained of aldermanic committees concerned with
community development, redevelopment and improvements.

(c) Functions, responsibilities. This planning and develop-
ment committee shall have the primary responsibility to re-
view and coordinate the long range plans and programs of all
city efforts in the fields of community development, redevelop-
ment, facilities and improvements, and to make suggestions
to other appropriate aldermanic committees or recommend
actions and policies for adoption by the board of aldermen to

Supp. No. 4 7

52 1:

§ 2-40.1 ADMINISTRATION § 2-41

insure maximum coordination and the highest quality of
urban community development. This responsibility shall in-
clude the review and evaluation of the elements of the com-
prehensive (general) plan development by the planning de-
partment with guidance from the Atlanta-Fulton County
Joint Planning Board; 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 in-
cluding, 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, 1964, 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 ordinance abolish-
ing the urban renewal committee and providing for transfer of its

functions and activities to the planning and development committee, has
not 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 chair-
man, 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 Jan. 18, 1965 did not expressly amend this
Code, hence the manner of codification was at the discretion of the
editors. The preamble to said ordinance recited the fact that said com-
mittee, pursuant to resolution, is ccordinating 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, oe and contained in Georgia Laws
Supp. No. 5 =



public items show