Sparks fly over placement of electric pole

The city of Kfar Saba has been ordered to pay NIS 40,000 compensation to a local resident after placing a large electric pole just one meter in front of his office window, reports Judge Rami Amir of the Kfar Saba Magistrate's Court ordered the city to pay the compensation after hearing that the pole had been moved in front of the window from its original site in front of an upmarket apartment building. According to the report, Eliezer Shmueli of Kfar Saba was unpleasantly surprised to discover one day in June 2007 that work had begun to prepare the ground for an electric pole just outside the office he owns and rents out in Rehov Weizmann. Shmueli learned that a large metal electric pole, complete with transformer on top, was to be moved to the site from in front of a newly built luxury apartment building 10 meters down the road. He immediately demanded that the city stop the work, but his efforts failed and in August 2007 the pole went up just one meter from the window of the office. The report said Shmueli issued a lawsuit claiming NIS 113,000 in compensation, saying the pole significantly lowered the value of his property, was an "aesthetic hazard," and was potentially dangerous to the health of tenants and residents close to it. He said his office had become available for rent in January this year, and while he had never had problems renting it out in the past, he was now unable to find a tenant. "A number of interested people have come to see the property, but there is no doubt that the electric pole, which sprouts from the window of the office, is causing potential renters to flee," Shmueli said. The report said Amir ordered the city to pay NIS 40,000 compensation to Shmueli within 30 days. No comment from the city was reported.