(photo credit: Galit Samuel)
Tel Aviv resident activists who have been struggling against the construction of
a future resort complex in Tel Baruch achieved a small victory on Thursday when
planners determined that a large parking lot planned for the heart of the nature
reserve would be moved eastward.
Residents involved in “The Struggle to
Save the Tel Aviv Reserve” had arrived in Jerusalem on Thursday to protest in
front of the Interior Ministry, where the National Council for Planning and
Building was hearing the group’s appeal against construction in the area – which
residents say is the last nature reserve in Tel Aviv.
During the meeting,
Tel Aviv district planner Naomi Angel said that the location of an underground
parking lot in the middle of the coastal park was “troubling,” and that the
parking lot must be moved to the area eastward where the hotels will be
“It is possible to add, by means of enlarging the regulation for
hotel parking by 50 percent, many parking spaces, which will be administered as
public parking lots and will meet parking needs,” Angel said.
Building Plan 3700 calls for massive construction in open spaces in northwest
Tel Aviv, from the Herzliya border in the north until Sde Dov Airport in the
south. Within this area, the city plans to construct more than 12,000 apartments
and hotel rooms, parking lots, shopping centers and transportation
A small subsection of the plan contains the Tel Baruch area
that the residents are fighting to protect, an area that is home to rare flora
and is a last urban oasis for Tel Aviv, they say.
portion is located west of Road 2040 and contains more than 200 species of
unique plants and animals endemic to the sands there, they have
Within that area, however, are plans for the large parking lot
with a total of 4,000 spaces, commercial centers and an artificial green park –
something the activists claim there are plenty of in Tel Aviv.
still only a partial victory in the eyes of the protesters – who would prefer
not to have any construction on the reserve – they called the decision a
“surprising change in municipal policy.”
“We welcome the expected changes
in the program, which will reduce the damage to natural assets and unique
landscapes in the ridge area,” said Galit Samuel, chairwoman of the residents
forum. “However, these changes are not enough in order to prevent serious and
irreversible changes to the natural system in the area.”