The Herzliya Local Planning and Building Commission recently approved the outline plan for the Hof Hatchelet (Blue Coast) site on the seafront between Abba Eban Boulevard on the north and the Herzliya border with Tel Aviv on the south. The next stage is discussion of the plan at the Tel Aviv District Planning and Building Commission.
The plan, designed by architect Danny Kaiser and the Herzliya municipality engineering administration, covers a 2,200-dunam (550-acre) site zoned for 11,500 housing units 150,000-200,000 sq.m. of space for public purposes (including schools and kindergartens), business, commerce, and 3,500 hotel rooms.
A 15-meter promenade along a sandstone ridge near the sea as a continuation of the existing beach promenade to the Tel Aviv border and a bicycle path along Highway 2 are planned, and the Tel Michal archeological site will be developed and turned into a 200-dunam (50-acre) park.
The business space will be constructed along the coastal road, creating continuity with the existing industrial zone in western Herzliya. The residential, public, and tourist space will be next to the sea. The residential buildings will have 8-30 storeys.
The plan allocates 70% of the space for public needs. It will probably take years before the plan is fully completed. Optimistic estimates speak of 5-7 years before infrastructure work begins.
An appraiser will be appointed to allocate specific areas to the many landowners on the site. The plan is then slated to move to the stage of objections at the District Planning and Building Commission, followed by final approval.
Herzliya Mayor Moshe Fadlon expressed satisfaction with the plan's approval, saying, "About two thirds of the land in the plan will be appropriated for public space, which shows that the plan's main goal is to preserve open spaces, the marine environment, nature reserves, and national parks. We were also careful to maintain a balance between residential sites and business and tourist sites which will provide an economic level for the city and benefit for all its residents."
Herzliya municipal director Yehuda Ben Ezra added, "The Herzliya municipality has been promoting the plan for a long time, while showing special sensitivity to the preservation of nature values. In planning the residential neighborhood, we took care to provide a good and effective solution for the tenants' needs in matters such as education, transportation, etc."
Ezra Yehezkel, chairman of the Association for Promotion and Development of Hof Hatchelet, said that he hoped that the state's attitude towards shortening bureaucratic procedures would also be applied to Hof Hatchelet. He stated, "My father bought the land when I was born in 1938. Many of the landowners are the children of buyers who have passed away. I have 750 sq.m. and no one has an exact answer about how much we'll get for our land. There's 70% confiscation for public needs, and there are also non-residential uses. Out of 2,000 dunam (500 acres), 400 (100 acres) will be for residences. The current estimate is that constructions rights will be 30-40 housing units per dunam (120-160 housing units per acre)."
Adv. Joseph Guy Mosseri, who specializes in forming buyers groups in projects in the planning stages, and represents over 1,000 buyers in Hof Hatchelet, says, "It is likely that the District Commission will act like it did in approving (the nearby) municipal plan 3700, when it increased the rights (meaning the density of housing per net dunam after confiscation) in the site, because the interests of the Local Commission are different from those of the District Commission, which is responsible for supervision and preservation for the purpose of maximizing the expensive land resource. For this reason, the proper criterion will be the density approved in plan 3700."
Mosseri added, "It is important to realize that the outline plan involved is for high rise high density construction, and confiscation therefore neither adds nor detracts. It is important to know the net number of approved housing units that will be approved after the confiscation. Confiscation for public needs refers to the purposes, but the key is determined by National Outline Plan 35. What will remain after the confiscation in terms of urban building plan units should be checked, because the rights will be for high-rise construction."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on January 30, 2017
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