Box 18, Folder 24, Document 17

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Box 18, Folder 24, Document 17

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NEV. SLET T E R OF THE CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
FOR URBAN RENEViAL
Vol . 5 No. 7
Atlanta, Georgia
July
1967
DEAR TH OF LAND ZONED FOR APARTMENTS BIGGEST
HOUSI NG HEADACHE, ALEXANDER TELLS COMMITTEE
By comparison with what
is required for Atlanta's
five year housing endeavor,
only a minuscule quantity of land zoned for apartments is available, Cecil Alexander,
h ousing resources committee chairman, reported to our executive committee July 19.
Said Mr. Alexander: "Vacant land now zoned for apartments totals 482 acres, but of
thi s total 125 acres is committed for low income housing and 122 acres has been turned
down as unsuitable. Another 31 acres have been planned for other purposes. That
leaves 204 acres, but usually only one-third of the acreage turns out to be suitable,
so that means only 68 acres are available for the housing program. It is estimated
that a total of 1, 565 acres are actually needed, so with only 68 acres available, it
makes a bleak picture." Mr. Alexander also pointed out that while most Atlantari.s
re gard Five Points as the center of the city, that is not geographically accurate. He
added that only 18 of the available 68 acres are located east of Five Points. He
stressed the point that housing needs reach out beyond the city limits to present a
truly metro area problem. Said he: "The acreage of open land is much larger in the
west and northwest sections of the city. v\'·hen you try to go east you run up against
DeKalb County, which has no workable program. Housing is now a metropolitan
problem. To be realistic, we are going to need something like 4, 500 acres zoned for
apartments. v: e must come up with an over all plan to distribute this as widely as
possible. "
By contrast with the
bleakness of the
available land picture,
Mr. Alexander reported encouraging figures in firm and probable commitments for
housing units. He listed 5, 244 as firm, 2, 965 as probable. The combined total of
8, 209 comes to almost half the five year goal of 16, 800. In addition, 8, 000 units are
being considered, with 2, 830 more regarded as doubtful. The grand total of more
than 19,000 represents about 95 per cent of what is in sight at present, Mr • .Alexander
estimated. Sumrr:ed up the speaker: 11 Yi e must have a realistic determination to
build housing in quantity to develop a market for it, W e need a new zoning ordinance
quickly or ~evelopers and non-profit groups will become discouraged and go to other
cities. " Mr. Alexander also called the committee I s attention to a new departure in.
housing being carried out by National Homes in the Thomasville project area where
some modification of code regulations is bein 6 tried. He cited this experiment, after
pointin 6 out that code enforcement can cause hardships to home owners outside urban
renewal projects. Such owners cannot obtain the low interest loans for rehabilitation
w hich are available inside urban renewal areas.
HOUSING PICTURE NOT ALL GLOO1v~Y, TOTAL
OF FIRM A ND PROBABLE COMMITMENTS SHOWS
Following Mr • .Alexander's talk, Executive Committeeman Edgar Schukraft
p ointe d to the example of Minneapolis as having built housing throuJhout the city.
Said he: "Neg roes and poor people shoulci not be shoved off in one o.irection, We must
l ook ten years ahead. Atlanta is supposed to be a new city, but it will be a city with.
out understanding unless all of us realize that Negroes and poor people are the entire
city ' s responsibility. 11 Executive Committeeman John V ilson made the point that an
o verall plan is essential. Alderman John Flanigen, chairman of the aldermanic
zoning comrr:ittee , expressed hearty support of Mr. Alexander's call for an updated
zon i ng ordinance. Said he, In connection with what Mr. Alexander has said, the
fi rs t thi ng I said to Mayor .Allen was that we need a new zoning ordinance. I -.i on't
want to h i r e a n outside g roup of consultants. I'd like to see a committee of local men
study the zon ing ordinance and revise it. 11 Then speaking of the scarcity of land in the
easte rn section of the city, Mr. Flani 6 en said the situation there was almost as critical
as it has b een in Butte r milk Bottoms, with regard to relocation of people in new housing!
Said he: "The re just isn't any vacant land where housing can be put to take care of
people who mu s t be r elocated. CommentinJ on Mr. Flanigen's remarks, said Chairman Somm e rville: " F rom what P·lderman Flanig en has said, it is indicated that this
committee or its succe ss or will have to be in business for a long time, 11
�L
~2PORT ABLE HOUSING ON TEMPORARY BASIS
IS SEEN AS NEVi RELOCATION EXPERIMENT
The Atlanta Housin 6
Autho r ity is asking
federal approval of a
plan to provide pdrtable housing for t emporary relocation use, Lester H. Per sells,
AHA redevelopmeht director, explained to our executive committee. Said he: ' 1 we
have some reas on to believe that the federal 6 overnment will 6 0 along with our plan to
put portable housihg on vacant lan<l on a temporary basis. For example, 100 to 150
families could be reloc ated in this kind of housing for a year or a year and a half while
permanent housing is being constructed. This is an experimental approach and could
be used in the Bedford-Pi ne area, 11 Commenting on Mr. Per sells' remarks, Chairman
Sommerville said our comrr..ittee was keenly interested in s uch use of portable housing
and would like to be kept fully informed of any further developments.
FOUR GEORGIANS BEGIN YEAR'S TRAINING
AS U. R. INTERNS FOR HOUSING AUTHORITY
Special JUests at the
July 19 meeting were
four young men who are
beginning a year's training in urban renewal as interns with the Atlanta Housing
Authority. At the end of their course of paid training, they may become staff members
or go to positions elsewhere. All four are Georgians. Following are brief biographies:
JAM ES P. BING, born in Waycross, graduated from Center High School here, then
maj ored in Social Science at Morris Brown Colle 6 e, from vvhich he was graduated last
May 31; DARRYL R. CHANEY, Atlanta born, after being g raduated from Hapeville
High School, attended We st Georgia College, then transferred to Georgia State College,
from w hich he v,ill receive his BBA August 17; CURTIS PARRISH, born in Waycross,
a graduate of Center High School, then attended Morris Brown College, after completing his undergraduate work there, worked a year as social teacher and football
coach at Drexel Catholic High School, Atlanta; SHELLEY B. STANLEY, born in
Dublin, after g raduation from Mathar Academy, Camden, S. C., attended Daniel Payne
College in Birmingham, Ala. two years and then finished his college education at Paul
Quinn ColleJ e in V. aco, Texas, from which he received a B. S. in Social Science.
Updated from the original
1958 version, the city's
land use plan now provides information for projections up to 1983, Collier Gladin, city planning engineer,
explained t o the executive committee July 19. He pointed out that the land use plan is
part of the city's comprehensive plan, which also embraces thoroughfares, community
facilities and public improvements. Said he: "Under the 1962 federal highway act,
the governments of the metro area and the City of .Atlanta must come up with a
thoroughfare plan for the five county area. This plan has to be approved by the
Federal Bureau of Public Roads before highway funds can be released. · 1 He showed
that with data furnished by the land use and thoroughfare plans projections can be made
on population, gr owth, housing needs and many other points up until the year 1983,
when the Atlanta Metro area is scheduled to have 2,000, 000 population. Mr. Gladin
illustrated his explanatory talk with slides of maps showing residential, business and
industrial us es and also showing improvement treatment. He pointed out that the CIP
had provided <lata on va cant land and other land that is not fully in use. Mr. Gladin
further explained that t he land use plan has been reviewed by the Board of Aldermen
and the aldermanic planning and development committee. As the plan progresses, it
will continue to be reviewed. In answer to a question from Executive Committee
Member Grace Hamilton, Mr . Gladin said that final approval was up to the aldermanic
board . In a discussion following Mr. Gladin' s remarks, Executive Committee Iv1err.ber
Rich inquired what would be done with the plan. Chairman Sommerville replied that
the plan's future depended upon a political decision. Executive Committee Member
T. M. Alexander, S r . , emphasized that coordination among city departments will be
a major fact o r in putting the plan to use.
NEW LAND PLAN INCLUDES DATA TO MEET
NEEDS UNTIL 1983, PLANNER GLADIN EXPLAINS
Figures compiled by the
Atlanta Housing Authority,.
disclose that 764 person s' .
participated in our urban renewal tours so far in 1967 as compared with 850 for all of
1967, Chairman Sommerville informed the executive committee. Said he: 11 The tours
have exposed a lot of people to both the good and the bad and have proved very worthwhile. They also cause a financial problem for the committee. ' ' .
HALF YEAR SHOWS BOOM IN RENEW AL TOURS
COLLEGE TEACHERS HAIL EDUCATIONAL VALUE
�... 3_
Mr. Somrr~erville explained that dtii". ct>tntnihee I s pdlicy is to finance tours only for
groups or orgahbations that tlo not have r esources for such purposes. Executive
Director i-Iowiand expressed our committee's thanks to Mrs. Margret Ross and her
associates at the Atlanta Housing Authority for helping to conduct the tours. Illustrating the value of such first hand exposure to urban renewal, Mr. Sommerville read
a letter from Dr. Beate B andy of the Georgia State College faculty which thanked us
for arrangin 6 a tour July 13 for two of her classes. Wrote Dr. Bandy:
"Since you took us on the tour of the Atlanta Urban Renewal Areas we have had
two very lively class sessions. Most of my students know social problems of this
magnitude only from books; a realistic demonstration like this can make the points
better than any combination of classroom instruction and reading. I want you to know
how much my students and I appreciate the time and effort you spent on us, and also,
that this time and effort is put to very good use. ! I
Warm appreciation of a tour conducted June 22 for teachers of disadvantaged
youth attending a NDEA institute at Emory University also was expressed by Dr. Dora
Helen Skype k, . institute director. Wrote Dr. Skypek,
The tour was the highlight of the first week of our program. It was enlightening and enjorable not only for the 18 teachers from New York, Detroit, Denver, Seattle,
Spokane, Milwaukee and urban areas in California, Illinois and the Southeast, but also
for the 19 teachers and staff members who live in Atlanta. Some preconceptions were
shattered and limited information had to be revised. Emphasis on the rehabilitation
aspect of urban renewal was a worthy prelude to our required reading of H. Gans•
' The Urban Villagers• and related sociological readings. 11
11
EX -SENATOR DOUGLAS AND HIS COMMISSION
ARE SHOWN HIGHLIGHTS OF ATLANTA RENEWAL
At the request of the
National Commission on
Urban Problems, a
special tour of Atlanta urban renewal projects and the model city target area was
arranged by our committee July 20. Headed by Chairman Paul Douglas, former U.S.
Senator from Illinois, the commission members who were in Atlanta for hearings July
21, viewed Buttermilk Bottoms, Bedford-Pine, Butler Street, model city, part of
West End and University Center areas. Hig h point of the tour was a stop at the Antoine
Graves housing for the elderly: Commission members visited a number of apartments
and expressed themselves as much impressed by what they saw. Tour conductors
were Director Howland and Mrs. Margret Ross, Atlanta Housing Authority information
officer. At the hearing next day, Director Howland made a brief appearance as a
witnes s to tell how our committee had helped obtain active citizen participation and
thereby obtained a cooperative a ttitude in Bedford-Pine planning . Mr. Howland also
expre ssed our committee's endorsement of the Housing Authority's plan to try
temporary housing as an experiment to relocate people while new permanent housing
is under construction.
On behalf of our
committee, Chairman
Sommerville July 6
expre ssed congratulations to the Celotex Corporation upon being selected as developer
of 208 units of housing in the University Center project. Chairman Sommerville . spoke
at the contract s igning July 6. Also representing our committe e were T. M. Alexander,
Sr . , chairman of our s pecial subcommittee to review redevelopment proposals, and
Director Howland. Said Mr. Sommer ville: 11 This i s a spl e ndid indica tion of the
blending of private enterprise and public service. The quality of this proposal
a ssures us that we will n ot be building a future slum. I heartily congratulate the
Celotex Corporation a nd welcome it to this first venture in the field of low a nd
moderate income housing. What h as impressed me a bout a ll the developme nt proposals is their excellenc e . Representing Mayor A llen was Dan E. Sweat , Jr. ,
directo r of governmental liais on for the city. Saying he p ers ona lly w as 11 exc ite d a nd
pleased with the selection 11 , Mr. Sweat read a statement from Mayor Allen. 11 1
warmly congratulate t he Celotex Corporation 11 , stated Mayor Allen. "This m arks a n
important new step toward meeting Atlanta's housing need s in that one of the largest
building mat erials manufacturers is entering this field for the first time. In so doing,
Celotex is demonstrating a v ery high sense of public r es ponsibility. I w ould a l so like
to express my appreciation of the excelle nc e of a ll seven propos a l s submitted. 11
CHAIRMAN ACCLAIMS SELECTION OF CELOTEX
AS 11 SPLENDID PRIVATE P~ND PUBLIC BLENDING'
THE NEXT COMMITTEE MEETING WILL BE IN SEPTEMBE R-NONE IN A UGUST

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