The Haifa municipality subcommittee for planning and construction last week banned future construction of high-rises of over nine stories on the Carmel. The decision was taken despite a five-five tie vote. Committee chairman and deputy mayor Shmuel Gelbhart (Shinui-Greens) used his double vote to break the tie in favor of the building ban.
Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav attended the committee meeting to support the building restrictions, although he has not vote.
The decision cancels the building policy set by Haifa's previous mayor, Amiram Mitzna, toward the end of his term. High-rises of up to 20 stories have been built on the Carmel in the past.
The decision mainly affects large high-rise housing projects planned for the Carmel, which have not yet been approved by planning and building committees. One these projects was for 30-storey high-rises by Gad Zeevi.
Gad Zeevi's attorney is appealing to Yahav, Haifa municipal engineer Dr. Yaakov Roth and other officials not to change the city's current planning policy regarding high-rise construction on the Carmel.
Zeevi's attorney is threatening to file for summary judgements with the court, and to sue the Haifa municipality for damages and expenses already incurred in planning the company's high-rise project on the Carmel.
In his letter to Yahav, Zeevi wrote that the municipality had approved his plans for the three high-rise project.
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on October 17, 2004
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