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Message from the President of the United States, transmitting Reorganiza-
Woods, R. F., Acting Chairman, National Capital Regional Planning
Duke, Brig. Gen. C. M., president, Metropolitan Council of Govern-
Hanson, Royce, associate professor of government, American Uni-
Rowe, Mrs. James H., Jr., Chairman, National Capital Planning
REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 5 OF 1966
(National Capital Regional Planning Council)
TUESDAY, AUGUST 9, 1966
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
OF THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., in room 2203, Rayburn Office Building, Hon. William L. Dawson (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives William L. Dawson, Chet Holifield, Henry S. Reuss, Benjamin S. Rosenthal, and John N. Erlenborn. Also present: Elmer W. Henderson, subcommittee counsel, and J. P. Carlson, minority counsel.
Chairman DAWSON. We shall now proceed to the consideration of Reorganization Plan No. 5 submitted to the Congress by the President on June 29. If no disapproval resolution is passed, this plan will go into effect on September 8. Thus far, no disapproval resolution has been introduced.
The purpose of Reorganization Plan No. 5 is to abolish the National Capital Regional Planning Council. This Council was established by statute in 1952 to prepare a comprehensive development plan for the Capital and the surrounding areas. Its functions will be carried out to a considerable extent by the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments and the National Capital Planning Commission This agency, according to the President, is no longer needed and is thereby being dispensed with. It is estimated that an annual savings of $25,000 should result from this reorganization.
(Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1966 follows:)
[H. Doc. No. 456, 89th Cong., 2d sess.]
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, TRANSMITTING REORGANIZATION PLAN NO. 5, PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REORGANIZATION ACT OF 1949, AS AMENDED
To the Congress of the United States:
I am transmitting Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1966, prepared in accordance with the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended.
The time has come to recognize the readiness of local governments in the Washington area to undertake a role which is properly and rightfully theirs. To that end, I am submitting a reorganization plan to abolish the National Capital Regional Planning Council.
Comprehensive regional planning is vital to the orderly development of our metropolitan areas. Nowhere is it more important than in the National Capital region.
To be most effective, regional planning must be a responsibility of the area's State and local governments acting together to solve mutual problems of growth and change. It should not be a Federal function, although the Federal Government should support and advance it.
The need for cooperative planning was recognized years ago in the National Capital region. The establishment of the National Capital Regional Planning Council in 1952 to prepare a comprehensive development plan was a major step in meeting that need.
However, the Council was designed for conditions which no longer exist. It was established by Federal law as a Federal agency financed by Federal funds because the various local jurisdictions then felt they were not in a position to provide the financing necessary for areawide comprehensive planning.
The situation that existed in 1952 has been changed by two major developments
The funding of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments; and
The inauguration of a nationwide urban planning assistance program, commonly referred to as the "701 Program."
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, established in 1957, is a voluntary association of elected officials of local governments in the area. It has a competent professional staff and has done constructive work on areawide development matters. It had a budget of nearly a quarter of a million dollars for fiscal year 1965, mostly derived from local government contributions, and has developed to the point where it can fully carry out the State and local aspects of regional planning.
The urban planning assistance program provides for Federal financing of twothirds of the cost of metropolitan planning. The National Capital Regional Planning Council, as a Federal agency, is not eligible for assistance under this program. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, however, became eligible for that assistance under the terms of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965. Accordingly, the elected local governments of the National Capital region have declared their intention of undertaking the responsibility for areawide comprehensive planning through the Council of Governments. The reorganization plan will not alter the basic responsibilites of the National Capital Planning Commission. That Commission will continue to represent the Federal interest in the planning and development of the region. Indeed, its work should increase as comprehensive regional planning by the Council of Governments is accelerated. In accord with the reorganization plan, the Commission will work closely with the Council of Governments in regional planning. The Commission will also deal directly with the suburban jurisdictions and assume the liaison functions now exercised by the National Capital Regional Planning Council.
The reorganization plan will improve existing organizational arrangements of and promote more effective and efficient planning for the National Capital region.
It will also result in long-range savings to the Federal Government. The regional planning effort of the Council of Governments is supported in part by local contributions. The same work done by the National Capital Regional Planning Council has been supported totally with Federal funds. The plan will eliminate this overlapping effort.
Annual savings of at least $25,000 should result from the reorganization plan. The functions to be abolished by the reorganization plan are provided for in sections 2(e), 3, 4, 5(d), and 6(b) of the act approved June 6, 1924, entitled "An Act providing for a comprehensive development of the park and playground system of the National Capital" (43 Stat. 463), as amended (66 Stat. 783, 40 U.S.C. 71a(e), 71b, 71c, 71d(d), and 71E(b)).
I have found, after investigation, that each reorganization included in the accompanying reorganization plan is necessary to accomplish one or more of the purposes set forth in section 2(a) of the Reorganization Act of 1949, as amended. I recommend that the Congress allow the reorganization plan to become effective. LYNDON B. JOHNSON.
THE WHITE HOUSE, June 29, 1966.
REORGANIZATION PLAN No. 5 of 1966
(Prepared by the President and transmitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives in Congress assembled, June 29, 1966, pursuant to the provisions of the Reorganization Act of 1949, 63 Stat. 203, as amended)
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGIONAL PLANNING COUNCIL
SECTION 1. Abolition.-The National Capital Regional Planning Council (66 Stat. 783), together with all of its functions, is hereby abolished.
SEC. 2. Liquidation.-The National Capital Planning Commission shall make such provisions as it shall deem necessary respecting the winding up of the outstanding affairs of the National Capital Regional Planning Council.
Chairman DAWSON. We shall now have a statement from Hon. Carlton R. Sickles, of Maryland.
STATEMENT OF HON. CARLTON R. SICKLES, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND
Mr. SICKLES. Mr. Chairman, I want to express my support for Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1966. Under this plan, the National Capital Regional Planning Council, a Federal agency established under the National Capital Planning Act of 1952, would be abolished.
Regional planning is best carried out by State and local governments acting with Federal encouragement and support. A Federal agency set up by Federal law and financed totally by Federal funds cannot be as responsive to regional needs as a more local group can. The National Capital Regional Planning Council was originally necessary because local jurisdictions lacked the money needed to undertake comprehensive urban planning. But today, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is ready to take its rightful place as the planning agency for this region.
The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 made the Washington Council of Governments eligible for Federal grants with which to carry out its planning responsibilities, and two such grants have already been awarded. The old Regional Planning Council, as a Federal agency, is not eligible for such assistance.
It is a source of great satisfaction to me that President Johnson's message of June 29, 1966, called for granting local urban planning authority to the Washington Council of Governments. I have had the honor of serving as president of that body and as vice chairman of its board of directors. I know that the council, through its professional staff, will develop with considerable skill and competence an orderly and progressive development plan for the Washington metropolitan region.
The Washington Council of Governments today has 138 members effectively representing the entire metropolitan area. It is composed of members of the U.S. Congress, the General Assemblies of Maryland and Virginia, the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, and the governing bodies of six counties and six cities. In addition, the council is served by a very able staff of 26, whose recruitment, incidentally, was only made possible by the Federal grant.
The Council of Governments was not always so large and wellstaffed as it is today. It was established in 1957 largely because of a conflict over interstate bus and taxi fares. The first members of the council worked with limited funds and no staff. But they nevertheless