Residents protest against disabled center

Herzliya residents say it will cause overcrowding and traffic problems.

A group of Herzliya residents has appealed to the District Planning and Construction Committee against plans to construct an activity center for physically disabled children and youths in their neighborhood, reports The city has approved plans by the Beit Hagalgalim non-profit organization for a three-story, 900-square-meter center in Herzliya Pituah, but residents say it will cause overcrowding and traffic problems. According to the report, Beit Hagalgalim has been housed in rented temporary premises on Rehov Keren Hayesod for a number of years, and some time ago asked the city for a grant of land to enable it to build a permanent center. The city agreed to allocate the land on the corner of David Hamelech and Batsheva streets, and the Interior Ministry recently approved the grant. The organization has raised donations of about NIS 2 million, which will cover three-quarters of the cost of building the center, and hopes to obtain the rest from the National Insurance Institute. But local residents have protested against the center at every step of the way, most recently to the District Planning and Construction Committee, which is to hold discussions on the matter soon. "As a result of the delays, we have lost about $300,000 from donors who simply gave up and decided to give their money to other causes," a Beit Hagalgalim spokesman said. He speculated that the residents' real concern was that the center would harm the values of their properties.