The Tel Aviv municipality is having trouble bidding farewell to Sde Dov Airport. The municipality is asking for an allocation of 40 dunam (10 acres) on the site for a helicopter pad for use in commercial and private flights. The initiative is part of an objection submitted by Tel Aviv municipal engineer Udi Carmeli to the plan for the Sde Dov neighborhood after its recent deposit for public objections.
The municipality wants a temporary helicopter pad included in the plan on 20 dunam (five acres) and later a permanent helicopter pad on 40 dunam. "Zoning of a special plot for a helicopter pad is requested," the objection states. "Activity on the helicopter pad will facilitate rescue and emergency services and commercial and private flights." A municipality source told "Globes" that the request was designed "for use by emergency and rescue groups, such as the army and the police, but also for VIPs." A check by "Globes" found no regular helicopter pad for commercial and private use, although according to the Israel Civil Aviation Authority, "Helicopters are entitled to operate in spaces, i.e. to land in a suitable area, even if it is not an airport or a licensed pad, with the landowner's approval."
Another interesting section in the objection submitted by Carmeli seeks to rule out the consolidation of apartments in the area. This is an unusual request by the municipality (or any other urban authority, for that matter), which is designed to prevent a common phenomenon in the city in which wealthy people buy a number of apartments and consolidate them into large apartments. Some of them then remain unoccupied for most of the year. The municipality said that it welcomed the plan, and that its objections were designed to make changes in it.
Eilat is still not giving up on the airport
The plan in the area provides for construction of 16,000 housing units, 3,700 hotel rooms, and hundreds of thousands of square meters of office and commercial space. The objections stage of the plan, as shown by information obtained by "Globes," includes queries by many entities seeking to insert changes into the plan. The Eilat municipality, headed by Mayor Yitzhak Halevi, in recent months expressed the same view opposing closure of the airport as Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai. The objection filed by the Eilat municipality alleges that the District Planning and Building Commission did not consider alternative plans to removing the airport. The municipality is demanding that the plan be postponed, or that alternatives be considered, including a plan for construction east of Sde Dov and renewing civil aviation there, or closing the airport down only when building permits are granted for the site.
A demand for unpopular public buildings
Another interesting objection to the plan comes from the Government Housing Authority in the Ministry of Finance, which is asking that four dunam (one acre) be allotted for public buildings, with an emphasis on buildings that no one wants near their homes. "The Government Housing Authority is having difficulty finding space for government uses, especially for land uses that no one wants in their vicinity, such as institutions of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, and Social Services; addiction treatment centers; emergency center stations, etc.," the object states.
"The Government Housing Authority therefore wants to reserve land for public buildings for future government purposes. According a key for allocation of land for government housing purposes, we estimate the area required for government purposes at 5,000 square meters in the framework of this plan. We are consequently asking for the allocation of four dunam for public government buildings on one or two lots. These areas will be registered in the name of the state, and will not be expropriated by the local authority," the request says. Decisions on the objections will be discussed by the Tel Aviv District Planning and Building Commission.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 30, 2019
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