Box 1, Folder 1, Document 43

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Box 1, Folder 1, Document 43

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DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS
The Department of Buildings administers and enforces the
Zoning Ordinance, the Housing and Slum Clearance Code, the Housing
P.emolition Ordinance, the Georgia Safety Fire Law and the Elevator
Ordinance.
property.
Its responsibilities generally regulate the private use of private
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 so developed as to have flexibility, comprehensiveness,
and sesnitivity 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.
of the reorganization is now in the final stage.
Implementation
It would be inappropriate
to attempt to evaluate performance.
Organization
In 1964, Public Administration Service prepared a survey report
relating to the consolidation of inspectional services in the City of Atlanta.
This report reviewed and identified all inspectional functions carried out
among several departments within the City government. The major attention
of the report was focused on the Department of Building Inspections .
The
findings of the report led to recommendations for an 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).
adopted the full report.
The City
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
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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.
Staffing for the Records Bureau was provided by clerical
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personnel formerly assigned to each of the inspection division .
Staffing
13
The Department has a technical staff of 72 and a clerical staff
of 16.
The technical staff includes the department head (Building Official),
an assistant Building Official , two architect engineers, ten plumbing inspectors ;
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ten electrical inspectors, two elevator inspectors, nine heating and
ventilating inspectors and engineers, sixteen building inspectors and
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i f.teen persons engaged in housing code enforcement.
either registered engineers or architects.
Six technicians are
Most of the specialized 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 a-ccordance 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 inspections as sure that heating units are installed properly
and include provisions for smoke abatement in order to reduce air pollution.
Electrical inspections insure that wiring installations will reduce fire
hazards.
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 inspe ction to upgrade the standard of liv ing in
e x isting housing.
Zoning ordinance enforcement activities support the
r e gulations of land use , control of h e ight and bulk of buildings, establish area
re qui re m e nts fo r ya r ds and other ope n spaces.
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The volume of work undertaken by the department may be
measured by the value and number of building permits issued in the past
ten years.
Value of Building
(Milli ons of Dollars)
Year
76
59
59
10.8
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
Number of Permits
10,613
9,682
7, 791
8,327
8,728
114
91
96
8, 311
10,
9,
9,
9,
117
109
150
158
357
168
142
Building C o des
The C ity of Atlanta p r ov ides through the s e vari ous c odes a hi gh
standard of constru c t ion.
The N ational Building Cod e is ba s ically us e d for
building.( :n 1965 a r e v ise d National Ele ctri cal C o d e wHi
will be adopte d by the C it0
C urre ntly the C ity is us i n g the existin g National
E l e c trical C ode w ith som e l ocal amendment s .
d e vel o ping a H e a t ing C o de.
e, i s sue d which
The C i ty is a l e ader i n
This code has rec e ive d n ati ona l acclaim and has
b een wid e ly a dopte d by othe r citie s .
The Plumbing and the H o using C o d es
a r e not bas e d aft e r any mode l co d e , b u t do incorpo rate high s t a n dards.
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Gene rally, 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 is sued at that time.
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Budget and ~ ~
The department collects in fees enough funds to cover all the
exp e ns e s of ope ration .
A recent surve y of m uni cipal building inspe ction
practices indicated that 72 per cent of 101 cities ove r 100, 000 population
r e c e i ve 75 per c ent or more of the ir oper ating budge t fro m fe es.
Th irty -
t wo p er c ent of these cities rece i ve 100 per cent o r more of thei r operating
budget from fees.
Public C on veni e nc e
The con solidation of i n spe ctional s e r v ice and a central building
p ermits desk serves as a p ub li c convenience.
can get all b uilding permits at one l ocation.
A contractor o r i n d ividua l
He must, however, still go to
several other loca tions within C ity Hall for othe r basi c information a n d
p e rmits.
Water permits, water meters and location of water facilities are
obtained from the Water D epartment; sewer permits, street opening permits,
sewer assessments, curb cut permits and l ocation of sewer facil ities 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 these information
and permit issuing functions requires considerable study and would effect
changes that cross over departmental lines.

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