Construction bill reaches final votes after 2 years

Meretz MK laments lack of time to review 200-page-long document.

February 24, 2012 03:28
1 minute read.
View of Jerusalem construction project.

Jerusalem construction 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The Knesset Subcommittee on Reforming the Planning and Construction Law finished its work after nearly two years, leaving MKs complaining that the new bill is so long, they and the public will not have time to review it before it is put to a vote.

The changes and objections to the Planning and Construction Law, which were released on Thursday, are over 200 pages long and include over 600 articles. The sections of the bill will be brought to votes in the joint interior-economics subcommittee in six separate meetings over the next two weeks before it is brought to the plenum for its second and third (final) readings.

Some of the topics included in the lengthy bill include affordable housing, institutions for authorizing planning and construction and the process of planning new construction as well as penalties for not following the new guidelines.

Interior committee and subcommittee chairman Amnon Cohen (Shas) is often the only MK meetings on the reform, which are conducted with representatives of various government ministries.

After subcommittee members received the voting schedule on the bill earlier this week, MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who has said that the reform serves the rich, complained that MKs were given only nine days to learn the material and submit objections.

“This is not enough time to allow MKs and the public to discuss the ramifications of the changes and react in a serious way,” he wrote in a letter to Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon.

According to Horowitz, the short amount of time to submit objections is for show and not a true attempt to hold a discussion.

“Is it right that such a small amount of time was given to public representatives to react to a bill that is so controversial, so broad and long, and has such major consequences on our society?” he asked.

Horowitz had yet to receive a response at press time.

In August, Horowitz complained that the reform blocks the public from participating in the planning process and does not consider the environment or allow for public housing.

“The reform in planning and construction mainly serves entrepreneurs who want to make money quickly while making the public suffer,” he said.

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