Box 1, Folder 1, Document 4

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Box 1, Folder 1, Document 4

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The Department of Buildings administers and enforces the

Zoning Ordinance. the Housing and Slum Clearance Code. the Housing
Demolition Ordinance, the Georgia Safety Fire Law and the Elevator
Ordinance. Its responsibilities generally regulate the private use of private
property. The manner in which the department does its job and works with
other agencies both in and out of the City government will be reflected in
the quality of total community develoPment. Staffing, organization, and
records must be no developed as to have flexibility. comprehensiveness,

and neonitivity to the needs and requirements of area. action.

The Department of Buildings has been the subject of extensive
review and reorganization to better prepare it for its role. Implementation
of the reorganization is now in the final stage. It would be inappropriate

to attempt to eveiuete performance.


In 1964, Public Administration Service prepored I. survey report
relating to the consolidation of inspection! services in the City of Atlanta.
This report reviewed and identified all inopeetionei functions cerried out
emong several departments within the City government. the mejor attention
of the report we: focused on the Department of Building Inspection. The

findings of the report 161'! to recomnundntionl for en expended department of

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Building Inspections to include plumbing inspection (from the Construction

Department). electrical inspection (from the Department of Electricity) and
. housing code inspection (from the Department of Urban Renewal). The City
adopted the full report. The Departments of Electricity and Urban Renewal
were abolished when their few remaining responsibilities were transferred

to other departments and agencies. No one lost his job or was reduced in

salary due to the implementation of these recommendations.

Consolidation began in July of 1964. In the beginning little more
could be accomplished than to effect a legal change. The various offices
were spread from the third floor of City Hall to the thirteenth floor. In late
summer 1965. one year later, major office realignments were made at City
Hall which resulted in the Department of Buildings occupying all of the eighth
and ninth floors. Further office assignments were made in 1966. Physical

provisions were made for a central records and statistical unit and the central
permits desk. sailing for the Records Bureau was provided by clerical

personnel tormerly assigned to each of the inspection divisions.


The Department has a technical staff of 72 and a clerical stni’f
o! 16. The technical stat! includes the department head (Building Official),

an assistant Building Official. two architect engineers, tan plumbing inspectors,

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ten electrical inspectors, two elevator inspectors, nine heating and
ventilating inspectors and engineers. sixteen building inspectors and
. fifteen persons engaged in housing code enforcement. Six technicians are

either registered engineers or architects. Most of the specialised inspectors

are licensed in their trades.

Work Program

Inspectional services are provided to insure the health, safety
and general welfare of the community. Building inspections insure that
structures will be built. repaired and altered in accordance with accepted
standards. Plumbing inspections insure that water and sewer facilities
are installed in a manner that will protect the occupants health. Heating
and ventilating inspectio‘ns assure that heating units are installed properly
and include provisions for smoke abatement in order to reduce air pollution.
Electricsl inspections insure that wiring installations will reduce fire
lussrds. Housing inspections differ from the above in that the housing
code is concerned with buildings that were built under former regulations
(usually these required lower standards of safety and sanitation). It is the
general purpose of housing inspection to upgrade the standard of living in

existing housing. Zoning ordinance" enforcement sctivitiss support the

regulations of loud use. control of height and bulk of buildings. establish ares

requirements for yards and other open spaces.

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The volume of work undertaken by the depertnzent may be
measured by the value and number of building permits issued in the past

ten years.

Your Value of. Building Number of Permits

gMiilione of Dollars!

1955 76 10,613
1956 59 9.682
1957 59 7,791
1958 108 8,32?
1959 114 8.728
1960 91 8,311
1961 96 10.158
1962 ll? 993537
1963 109 9.168
1964 150 9.142

B and“: C ode .

The City of Atlanta providee through these verioue codee a high

etenderd of construction. The National Building Code in basically ueed {or

building. In 1965 0. revised National Electrical Code will be iuued which
will be edopted by the City. Durrently the City ie eeing the exieting Netionel
Electrieel Code with some local emendmente. The City is e lender in
developing e Heating Code. Thi- code hee received utionei eccieim end he-
been widely edopted by other cities. The Plumbing end the Hon-in; Codee

ere not bend efter any model code. but do incorporete hifih etenderde.

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Generally. the codes provide for eight inspections to be made during actual
construction. A final inspection is made upon completion of all work to
assure conformance to land use, type of building, area of lot and other
requirements of the zoning and building ordinances and codes. A certificate

of occupancy is issued at that time.

Budget and Revue

The department collects in fees enough funds to cover all the
expenses of operation. A recent survey of municipal building inspection

practices indicated that 72 per cent of 101 cities over 100. 000 population
receive 75 per cent or more 0! their operating budget from fees. Thirty-
two per cent of these cities receive 100 per cent or more of their Operating

budget from fees.

Public Convenience

The consolidation of inspectional service and s centrel building
permits desk serves as a public convenience. A contractor or individual
can get all building permits at one location. He must. howeve r, still go to

eeverel other locations within City Hall for other basic information and

permits. Water permits. weter meters and location at water facilities are

obtsined from the Water Department! sewer permits. street opening permits.

sewer essessments. curb cut permits and locstion of sewer tacilities are

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obtained from the Construction Department. Applications for rezoning

and street numbers are provided at the Planning Department. Copies of the
Zoning Code are purchased from the City Clerk as are licenses to engage
in the construction business. Complete consolidation of the so informtion

and permit issuing functions requires considerable study and would eflect

changes that cross over departmental lines.

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