raanana 88 298.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Ra'anana has presented its long-awaited "Vision for the year 2020," which plans to create an extra 4,000 apartments in the north and west of the city, reports local.co.il. But critics have been quick to attack the plan, which took two years to put together, cost NIS 176,000 and involved some 1,600 people.
According to the report, mayor Nahum Hofree presented the "vision" after it received council approval, saying the plan's main consideration was the pressing need for more housing in the city. The mayor said that 600 residential apartments would begin being built in 2009 on land currently occupied by Kfar Batya in the west of the city, and that the orchard recently planted on this land by the leaseholders would not stop the building project from going ahead. In addition, a further 3,500 residential units will be built in the north of the city, starting in the year 2010. As well as promising to find "housing solutions" for residents, the "vision" promises to upgrade road infrastructure and preserve a "clean and healthy" environment in the city.
Hofree said some 1,600 people, including hundreds of residents, had been involved in preparing the "vision" - the greatest number of people ever involved in any municipal plan in Israel. Most of the NIS 176,000 it cost went on the salaries of advisers. Hofree said the "vision" would act as "a compass that will lead us to the years ahead," adding that his aim was to preserve Ra'anana's character as a town and not change it to a city full of residential apartment towers.
Opposition councilors said the preparation of the plan had "lost all proportion." They said it had cost too much, had taken too long to prepare, involved too many people, and the end result was shallow and smacked of electioneering. Opposition councilor Leah Halperin said that previous mayor Ze'ev Bielski could have come up with the same plan "in half a day over dinner."