Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

1 Sivan 5761 - May 23, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Innovative Plans to Relieve Bnei Brak Housing Shortage
by A. Cohen

Three innovative city planning projects aimed at providing a quick solution of the Bnei Brak housing shortage and acceleration of the usual bureaucratic procedures have been presented by the Municipal Committee for Planning and Construction headed by Mayor Rabbi Mordechai Karelitz. The plan covers the addition of elevators to existing buildings, additions to a building's built-up areas, the number of apartments per building and the basement areas.

The plan for elevators, prepared a few months ago, is intended for residential buildings whose construction had been completed prior to approval of the plan and have no elevators at present.

According to the proposal, the Local Committee for Planning and Construction will be authorized to approve elevator shafts that are outside the building lines specified in the approved plans for that particular building.

This plan includes various requirements: the proposed elevator must be positioned either at the rear of the building or to one side; the size must be within the plan specifications; the elevator shaft may include only door openings for the elevator; the shaft will be built on the apartment's communal property and alternate parking spaces will be allotted in the case where the new elevator shaft takes the place of existing places.

Additional requirements were set down, such as the drafting of an architectural plan and of engineering plans for the elevator shaft approved by a qualified building engineer. The application must include the written consent of two- thirds of the apartment owners in the building. In addition, the elevator must meet the Israel Standards Institute specifications for prevention of noise and vibration.

An additional plan relates to the creation of uniformity in the number of dwelling units on various stories of residential buildings without allocation of additional building areas. The plan will allow the Local Committee for Planning and Construction to approve addition of a single dwelling unit to each residential building, when the goal is to standardize the number of units on each floor.

The third plan deals with the subject of the underground or lower floors of buildings throughout the city. The need for such a plan arose from the fact that City Building Plan number 105B was approved many years ago, when many fewer parking places were needed.

According to the new plan, the boundaries of the cellar on most sides must be one meter from the front of the plot, with a strip remaining for infrastructure and rain drainage. The sides and back of the basement can be up to the boundaries of the lot. The Municipal Engineer in the residential area will be authorized to demand exceptions to these rules.

According to the plan, the conditions for a building permit also include a plan to develop the courtyard area, including fences, lighting, garden, irrigation, parking and other details. The Municipal Spokesman and Secretary added that the three programs are now in the presentation stage only, and in no way are to be considered approved or currently valid.

The fourth plan, however, the Bnei Brak Comprehensive Plan Number 105/D/2 dealing with enlargement of roof areas has received final approval. Building plans requests according to this plan may be presented to the Local Committee for Planning and Construction.

According to this plan, permits will be granted to owners of top floor apartments to construct rooftop rooms and pergolas. The buildup area of a rooftop room may not exceed forty square meters (only 23 meters had been previously allowed).Construction of rooftop rooms will not be permitted atop partial floors, rooftop apartments, one-story buildings or single-family homes.

Permits for rooftop construction will be granted to the owner of the top apartment upon approval of a majority of apartment owners in the building, in the case where the roof is considered attached to said apartment, as recorded in the Israel Lands Registry records. Similarly, it may be granted if three-fourths of the apartment owners agree when the roof is part of the building's common property.


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