State Comptroller Joseph Shapira .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
It takes too long to receive a permit to build in Jerusalem and not enough permits are granted, especially in the city’s Arab neighborhoods, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira wrote in a report about local authorities that he published Tuesday.
Shapira found that the decision- making process regarding building in Jerusalem is faulty and does not promote transparency or equality. He also criticized the drop in oversight over building violations in the city.
He complained that the city lacks an updated master plan.
He singled out problematic procedures in approving a hotel being built in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood and a new neighborhood built on the former site of the Foreign Ministry.
The Jerusalem Municipality released a statement in response, saying that the city’s planning committee is the most complex in the country and must face diplomatic complexities in addition to regular administrative problems.
The statement welcomed complaints by the comptroller about the difficulty in enforcing building statutes in parts of east Jerusalem, saying that the city had been warning the national government about the same thing for many years.
“Most of the comptroller’s complaints were already fixed as soon as he pointed them out,” the statement said.
“The city is always looking to improve its service to its citizens. There has been a revolution in service in recent years.”
The city said the process of obtaining building permits had been shortened significantly and further improvements would be made.
The comptroller also complained about political appointments in cities like Afula, Nesher, Ashkelon, and Kiryat Ono and said the legal adviser to city of Modi’in is paid too much. Shapira also criticized the Tamar Regional Council for paying for a lawyer to come regularly to the Dead Sea region from Tel Aviv.