Haifa residents inflamed as building 'freeze' seems to melt away

May 7, 2009 14:24
1 minute read.

Residents of the French Carmel in Haifa were dismayed to learn last week that a controversial building project in their area is still being considered despite a promise by Mayor Yona Yahav before the November municipal elections that the plan would be frozen, reports www.mynet.co.il. But Yahav maintains that he is living up to his promise and that the plan has been frozen - at least until the District Planning and Construction Committee finishes holding public discussions on the subject. According to the report, the residents have been fighting against the city's planned Mahaneh Ze'ev project on the Stella Maris summit, and felt they had won a victory when they were promised before the November municipal elections that the plan would be frozen. But they were surprised, and not pleasantly so, to find themselves suddenly invited recently to take part in public discussions on the subject before the District Planning and Construction Committee. City councilor and Greens faction leader Shmuel Gelbhart, siding with the residents, wrote to Yahav saying he was obliged to keep his promise "especially if it is given on election eve." But a spokesman for Yahav said the mayor was "acting according to his promise." "The discussion in the district committee will be deferred until after a meeting with residents, at which they will be able to air their complaints," the spokesman said. "The plan has been taken off the schedule and will be deferred until after the completion of the process of public participation."

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