The Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee approved the construction of the “Karmit” residential neighborhood on 95 dunams (23.75 acres) on the western slopes of Kiryat Yovel, overlooking Ein Kerem. 93% of the land is privately owned and the rest belongs to the Israel Land Authority (ILA).
The plan involves the rezoning of land for public and agricultural use to residential use and the construction of 1,000 housing units in towers of 12, 14 and 21 stories, on the crest of the hill. The plan, which must be approved by the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee, includes schools, synagogues and a youth club.
The Jerusalem Municipality said that building in the area would significantly increase the housing supply in the region and attract young couples, families and a population working in the surrounding area (such as at the Hadassah – Ein Kerem hospital) and that the neighborhood would include a larger area. area originally planned for open public areas for maximum protection of views and the environment.
The original plan presented by the architectural firm Kulker Kulker Epstein was for 1,400 apartments.
Despite being scaled down, the plan has many opponents because of the damage they say it would cause to the environment. Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Adv. Yossi Havilio said that the whole plan should be canceled. «This is municipal land for nature. There is not much of this in Jerusalem. This land must be protected for vegetation and public buildings because, beyond all the towers, people must have a little vegetation within walking distance to have quality of life.
He added: ‘The main reason is the village of Ein Kerem. There is no doubt that this place has great importance for Jews, Christians and Muslims. It is not wise to preserve the heart of Ein Kerem village and surround it with concrete towers and monsters. Would someone surround the walls of the Old City with towers? This is a world class asset and you are destroying it. Future generations will not forgive us if we do not avoid this plan. We believe it will prevent the village from receiving UNESCO World Heritage Status. “
Published by Globes, Israel Business News – en.globes.co.il – on January 6, 2022.
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