Progress in approval of a comprehensive outline plan for Haifa - after 80 years in which the city had no comprehensive, up-to-date plan, the new outline plan has been filed for objections with the district committee.
The outline plan sets a target of increasing Haifa’s population by 60,000, from 270,000 today to 330,000 by 2025. To achieve this, the plan describes the new residential neighborhoods that will be developed - Ramat Haviv, El Rom, and Mevoot Hadarom and in the future Ramat Zemer, Mordot Lincoln, and the military bases that are to be vacated in the region in including the naval training school and the southern bases.
One of the main changes the outline plan will allow concerns Haifa Bay, where employment centers will be renovated, advanced industries will be introduced, and high-tech parks will be built. Under the plan, large areas in Haifa Bay are zoned for leisure and recreation. A 600,000 square meter metropolitan park is planned along the Kishon river banks as far as the marina. The plan also addresses the new docks that will be built in the port's hinterland. An urban seafront will be developed to make the western port area a passenger- only port, while other port areas will become an urban complex including residential and commercial buildings, restaurants and cafés.
Also included are plans to expand Matam High-Tech Park, at the southern entrance to the city, by 100,000 square meters, by increasing building rights existing buildings, and developing new areas.
No outline plan for the city has been approved since the British Mandate plan in 1934. Over the years, some failed attempts to advance a plan were made, such as the outline plan prepared in the 1940s and which reached the final stage before approval before being lost in the King David Hotel bombing in Jerusalem. Another outline plan prepared in the 1960s and submitted in 1980, was not approved. The latest plan filed with the district committee and needs to go through a few more stages of bureaucracy before final approval.
Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav said, “Today an era that began in 1934 has ended, when Haifa’s outline plan was approved. The implementation of the projects anchored in the plan will ensure proper development directions and will position Haifa as a leading city.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 26, 2014
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