Herzliya's engineering department is being criticized after it closed down a local reception center for operating out of a building that breaches building regulations - and yet that very department operates out of the same building, reports www.local.co.il. A local lawyer said the situation "looks like something done in Chelm, where the city's right hand does not know what the left is doing." According to the report, the situation came to light after the new owner of the La Casa function center on Rehov Ben-Gurion applied for a business permit in June and was refused on the grounds that the building exceeded its permitted size by some 2,300 square meters and that there was a closure order against the reception center. The owner said he had not known about the closure order and asked the city for a three-month period of grace to allow scheduled events to go ahead, but the city refused and he had been forced to close immediately, just 24 hours before a bar mitzva was to take place. The report said the bar mitzva boy's stunned family pleaded personally with Mayor Yael German to delay the closure for just one day, but the mayor refused, saying exceptions could not be made. Yet the report said the very same municipal department that ordered the closure - the engineering department - operates out of the same building, as does the city's finance department. And it said the city had been aware of the building breaches since 2005, when it had initiated action against the former owner of the center, then known as Kesem Iruim. Local lawyer Shmuel Sa'adia, who represented the former owner, described the city's actions as "negligent" and said it had unlawfully put obstacles in the center's way for years on the pretext of building breaches. "But most serious of all, the offices of the city's own engineer are located in the building," Sa'adia said. A municipal spokesman said the new owner had bought the center several months ago, and it could be assumed he had known it had no business permit. The spokesman said the closure order aimed to prevent a situation in which a person charged with operating without a business permit attempted to evade closure by giving the business to someone else to run. No response was reported on the issue of the city's own departments operating out of the same building.