40 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2001 Edition
Sec. 71 - Physical development of National Capital
From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov

§71. Physical development of National Capital

(a) General purposes; findings

It is the purpose of sections 71 to 71i, 72, 73, and 74 of this title to secure comprehensive planning for the physical development of the National Capital and its environs; to provide for the participation of the appropriate planning agencies of the environs in such planning; and to establish the agency and procedures requisite to the administration of the functions of the Federal and District of Columbia governments related to such planning. The Congress finds that the location of the seat of government in the District of Columbia has brought about the development of a metropolitan region extending well into adjoining territory in Maryland and Virginia; that effective comprehensive planning is necessary on a regional basis and of continuing importance to the Federal establishment; that the distribution of Federal installations throughout the region has been and will continue to be a major influence in determining the extent and character of development; that there is needed a central planning agency for the National Capital region to coordinate certain developmental activities of the many different agencies of the Federal and District Governments so that such activities may conform with general objectives; that there is an increasing mutuality of interest and responsibility between the various levels of government that calls for coordinate and unified policies in planning both Federal and local development in the interest of order and economy; that there are developmental problems of an interstate character, the planning of which requires collaboration between Federal, State, and local governments in the interest of equity and constructive action; and that the instrumentalities and procedures herein provided will aid in providing the Congress from time to time with information and advice requisite to legislation. The general objective of said sections is to enable appropriate agencies to plan for the development of the Federal establishment at the seat of government in a manner consistent with the nature and function of the National Capital and with due regard for the rights and prerogatives of the adjoining States and local governments to exercise control appropriate to their functions, and in a manner which will, in accordance with present and future needs, best promote public health, safety, morals, order, convenience, prosperity, and the general welfare, as well as efficiency and economy in the process of development.

(b) Definitions

As used in sections 71 to 71i, 72, 73, and 74 of this title, (1) “region” or “National Capital region” means the District of Columbia; Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties in Maryland; Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties in Virginia; and all cities now or hereafter existing in Maryland or Virginia within the geographic area bounded by the outer boundaries of the combined area of said counties; (2) “environs” means the territory surrounding the District of Columbia included within the National Capital region; (3) “National Capital” means the District of Columbia and territory owned by the United States within the environs; and (4) “planning agency” means any city, county, bi-county, part-county, or regional planning agency authorized under State and local laws to make and adopt comprehensive plans whether or not its jurisdiction is exclusive or concurrent.

(June 6, 1924, ch. 270, §1, 43 Stat. 463; Feb. 26, 1925, ch. 339, §3, 43 Stat. 983; Apr. 30, 1926, ch. 198, 44 Stat. 374; May 24, 1928, ch. 726, 45 Stat. 726; Ex. Ord. No. 6166, §2, eff. June 10, 1933; Mar. 2, 1934, ch. 38, 48 Stat. 389; July 19, 1952, ch. 949, §1, 66 Stat. 781.)


1952—Act July 19, 1952, restated the general purposes of sections 71 to 72, 73, and 74 of this title, and substituted entirely new provisions for former provisions relating to creation and duties of the “National Capital Park and Planning Commission” which have been superseded. See sections 71a to 71i of this title.

1928—Act May 24, 1928, provided that the Director of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital should be the executive and disbursing officer of said National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

1926—Act Apr. 30, 1926, amended section generally to establish and provide for a National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and abolished the Highway Commission which had been established by section 2 of act Mar. 2, 1893, ch. 197, 27 Stat. 533.

1925—Act Feb. 26, 1925, changed the name of the officer in charge of public buildings and grounds to the Director of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital.

Short Title of 1952 Amendment

Section 2 of act July 19, 1952, provided in part that: “Sections 1 and 2 of this Act [amending this section] may be cited as the ‘National Capital Planning Act of 1952’.”

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of other officers, employees, and agencies of Department of the Interior, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of the Interior, with power to delegate, see Reorg. Plan No. 3 of 1950, §§1, 2, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3174, 64 Stat. 1262, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Ex. Ord. No. 6166, set out as a note under section 901 of Title 5, abolished Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of National Capital and transferred functions thereof to Office of National Parks, Buildings and Reservations of Department of the Interior, and act Mar. 2, 1934, changed name of latter office to National Park Service.

Function of disbursement of moneys of United States by any agency except War Department, Navy Department, and Panama Canal, transferred to Treasury Department and, together with Office of Disbursing Clerk of that Department, consolidated in a Division of Disbursements, by section 4 of Ex. Ord. No. 6166 and Ex. Ord. No. 6728, May 29, 1934. Division of Disbursements consolidated in Fiscal Service by Reorg. Plan No. III of 1940, §1(a)(3), eff. June 30, 1940, 5 F.R. 2107, 54 Stat. 1231, set out in the Appendix to Title 5. See section 306 of Title 31, Money and Finance.

Study Commission To Investigate and Study Sites and Plans for Facilities and Services for Visitors and Students Coming to Washington, D.C.

Pub. L. 89–790, Nov. 7, 1966, 80 Stat. 1424, created a Study Commission to make a full and complete investigation and study of sites and plans to provide facilities and services for visitors and students coming to the Nation's Capital. The Commission was directed to report the results of its study and investigation to Congress not later than Sept. 15, 1967.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 71h, 71i, 72, 72a, 74 of this title.