Jerusalem mayor, green groups slam plan for Ramot Slopes neighborhood

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and environmentalists decried the national planning committee’s approval Wednesday of an expansive new neighborhood that they say will threaten the area’s ecology.
The Committee for Preferred Housing Projects (the Vatmal), established in 2014 to fast-track housing projects, authorized the “deposit” of a program from the Israel Lands Authority for the construction of 1,638 housing units in a future Ramot Slopes neighborhood. Located in the northwestern portion of the capital city just south of Ramot, environmentalists have charged that the plans will impact sensitive natural spaces.
“We are waging a long struggle against the building plan, which will bring serious harm to the city,” Barkat said on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s deposit authorization is followed by a 45-day period in which members of the public can file their objections.
The new neighborhood would largely be characterized by relatively low and terraced buildings, creating continuity with respect to the older Ramot neighborhoods, plans published by the ILA explained. However, some of the construction plots may feature higher buildings of between seven and 11 floors, the plans said.
Of the 1,638 housing units, 203 will be designated for assisted living and 1,435 will be standard residences – 25 percent of which will be small apartments.
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