A year after a municipal planning committee decided to put plans for a row of skyscrapers near Jaffa on hold, the plans are back on track. A new policy document formulated by a Tel Aviv planning committee calls for the construction of a row of very tall buildings in the south of the city, some within a stone’s throw of ancient Jaffa.
The city also has plans for a series of new highways that will crisscross the area, in addition to the first line of the Tel Aviv light rail. However, residents of the area are less than enthusiastic about the idea, claiming that the new buildings will be out of scale with the existing character of the area.
A year ago, in response to protests by the residents, a district planning committee instructed the city to formulate a coherent policy for the entire area. Residents had argued that the city was promoting the buildings one by one, without a comprehensive master plan.
The new policy document is meant to address these concerns. It includes plans for another 6 towers, in addition to a 38-story building that already stands in the area. Altogether the plans would add some 650 apartments to the area, approximately doubling the number of housing units in the area.
The residents, however, are still up in arms, calling the new plan “wretched” and a “false representation of a comprehensive plan.” Last week, they told Haaretz:
“In practice, the decision confirms an automatic mechanism for getting plans passed, without any solution being proposed for the neighborhood and for South Tel Aviv… Its only purpose is to approve the construction of a wall of high-rises along Eilat Street, which will partition Florentin and Neveh Tzedek.”
“It has no content because it has no transportation solutions for the thousands of people who will live in the apartments. There are no educational institutions, which the area needs. There are no new green areas to alleviate the crowding. The only reason for the city’s position is pressure from developers.”