Ayalon Highways Ltd. to compensate property owners

Hundreds of property owners in Herzliya and Kfar Shmaryahu had land decrease in value as a result of the highway.

A 10-year legal battle between Ayalon Highways Ltd. and hundreds of property owners in Herzliya and Kfar Shmaryahu whose land decreased in value as a result of the highway has ended with Ayalon Highways being ordered to pay a total of $10.5 million in compensation, www.local.co.il reports. Since the highway construction plan was approved in 1998, Ayalon Highways Ltd. has insisted that it did not affect the price of property. However, appraiser Yitzhak Sivan rejected the company's stance, and agreed that the property owners, represented collectively by attorney Oded Israeli, were entitled to compensation. The Tel Aviv District Planning Commission's appeals committee rejected the highway company's claims and upheld Sivan's recommendation. Appeals committee chair attorney Ofra Friedman wrote in her decision that the arguments did not require intervention by her committee. "Therefore, we reject the [company's] appeals, but [have] determined that the appraiser reconsider his stance regarding the value of the plots that were only partly expropriated by the highway company."