20,000 homes planned for Hod Hasharon

Amir Kochavi / Photo: Cadya Levi

However, Hod Hasharon Mayor Amir Kochavi told "Globes" that he had not heard the figure of 20,000 housing units and only knew of 8,200 homes.

Sources inform "Globes" that the Planning Administration and Apartment for Rent - The Governmental Company for Housing and Rental are jointly focusing on one of the largest building plans in central Israel - 20,000 housing units in Hod Hasharon. The plan is located a very short distance away from a plan for 33,000 housing units in southern Ramat Hasharon (IMI Ramat Hasharon) on the site of an IMI plant. In contrast to the latter plan, which is notorious and has been stalled for years by a dispute about reclamation of the land, the Hod Hasharon plan is quietly moving forward.

The plan, entitled Tama 48/1, includes two areas in the city. The largest of the two is bordered by the Yarkon River and Road 5 on the south, Road 40 on the east, Road 4 on the west, and the Neve Ne'eman and the Neve Hadar neighborhood on the north. The second area is west of Moshav Elishama, from Road 40 in the direction of the Ganei Am and Hapoal Hamizrahi neighborhoods. These areas were well known for their great planning potential, but the Hod Hasharon Local Planning and Building Commission and the Central District Planning and Building Commission did not promote plans there. In September 2016, the National Planning and Building Commission resolved that in view of the fact that planning had been stalled for 15 years, it ordered the advancement of "a detailed plan for a new residential neighborhood in southern Hod Hasharon. The name has since been changed to Nof Hayarkon."

This is one of the few cases in which the National Planning and Building Commission exercised its authority to take a plan from the (local and district) planning and building commissions below it. Then-Planning Authority director Binat Schwartz and then-National Planning and Building Commission chairperson Avigdor Yitzhaki pressed especially hard to have the plan transferred to the National Planning and Building Commission. At the same meeting at which the resolution was passed, Yitzhaki called for going ahead with the plan, without concern about lawsuits concerning a construction plan on such a large scale. "We have to stop this game in which nothing has happened for 15 years and nothing will happen for another 40 years."

Schwartz added that the planning problems in the area were due to the district outline plan and previous decisions by planning institutions, which mixed green spaces with areas for construction. She asserted at that meeting that there was no possibility of making the areas a national park without land confiscation. In this case, however, the planning institutions decided on a procedure of consolidation and division, while confiscations will be made in areas included in the national park, leading to petitions by the landowners receiving the poorer parts of the land.

Adv. Carmit Yulis, representative of the Attorney General, warned that once the National Planning and Building Commission draws up a plan of consolidation and division, it would be exposed to the appraisal entanglement that accompanies such plans, and that it was by no means certain that it is suitable for such things. Since that meeting, the plan has advanced quietly in the Planning Administration and Apartment for Rent, which has been assigned the task of planning the site.

"No commitment to infrastructure solutions"

An investigation by "Globes" found that the urban outline plan zones the area in question for only 8,200 housing units. Hod Hasharon Mayor Amir Kochavi told "Globes" that he had not heard the figure of 20,000 housing units.

Kochavi also asserted that he had received no satisfactory explanation of why two territorially unconnected sites had been combined in the framework of the plan. He said, "We regard the plan being promoted as too fast, with information whose origin we don't know. The worst thing is the state is unwilling to make an advance commitment to infrastructure solutions."

The Planning Administration said, "The plan is only in the initially stages of being formulated. It contains a long-term metropolitan perspective, with an emphasis on many planning principles."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 9, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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Amir Kochavi / Photo: Cadya Levi
Amir Kochavi / Photo: Cadya Levi
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