Plans for 12,000 Homes in Tel Aviv Are Approved

New neighborhood to house 30,000.

A new neighborhood in northwest Tel Aviv with 12,000 housing units for some 30,000 people has been approved.

The Tel Aviv Regional Planning and Building Committee accepted the Interior Ministry recommendation to approve the TA/3700 plan. Although the ministry has yet to officially announce the approval, it is expected do so within a few days.

The project will cover over 1,900 dunams (some 470 acres ) between Sde Dov Airport and the Mandarin hotel in Tel Baruch, at the municipal border with Herzliya near the Glilot interchange.

The plan has undergone many revisions over the years, and both the neighbors and many of the small landowners within the project presented numerous objections. In light of the many objections the ministry appointed a special investigator, the former head of the Israel Lands Authority Gideon Vitkon, to examine the objections and make recommendations for changes.

A few months ago Vitkon presented his recommendations, but these have yet to be released to the public.

The main objections to the plan were based on its low density of residential housing, which the planners said was the result of the need to keep construction low because of the nearby airport.

But the state has already decided to close the airport in the next few years, said those who filed objections. Even if Vitkon added an additional 5% more housing units to the plan, as many expect, this is still too little to satisfy the land owners, who want more residences, and more money.

The plan also includes 1,250 hotel rooms and commercial space, as well as office space.

Another 200 dunams (50 acres ) is set aside for public buildings, including two educational centers and a new sports stadium at the southern end of the project. The stadium was originally designated for the northern end, but sources say it was moved in the new plan.

The land is owned mostly by hundreds of people who own small plots, with the ILA owning 20% of the total area. This has complicated matters greatly in the planning stage, and may delay construction of large sections of the project.