New Master Plan for Jerusalem

The Jerusalem District Planning Commission has approved a new master plan for the city which includes the building of a new Jewish neighborhood in the northern part of the city made up of 11,000 dwelling units.

The master plan, the first since 1967, sets binding guidelines for planning and building in Jerusalem. City and government officials stress that the approval by the commission, the senior planning body for the capital, was not timed to coincide with the present international dispute over. Jerusalem’s future.

The new plan will allow the requisition of Arab owned land for the new neighborhood, to be located between French Hill and Neve Yoacov and tentatively named “South Neve Yoacov.” Up to now land in this area has been frozen because of the lack of a legal master plan. The new neighborhood will be the largest built since 1967.

The major features that have government planning and building in Jerusalem since 1967 are maintained in the new master plan. The Old City will continue to be the focal point, not to be overshadowed by any nearby buildings higher than the wall that surrounds it. In the outlying neighborhoods, buildings will have to blend, as much as possible, with the topography. The rule in effect since the British Mandate that all buildings, except industrial buildings, must be set in Jerusalem stone will continue.

District Commissioner Rafi Levi, who is also a senior Interior Ministry official, said the new plan will benefit all Jerusalem residents — Jews, Moslems and Christians. The master plan envisions a city of some 650,000 persons within two decodes, with the present proportion of 72 percent Jews maintained. Levi stressed the plan would allow “orderly growth and enable landowners to exercise their building rights.”

The master plan has already been approved by the Jerusalem municipality’s Planning Authority. It will now be open to public inspection and anyone affected can appeal against relevant sections. Final approval is expected within a year, after which it will become the legal framework for all building, landscaping, roadwork and other construction in the capital.

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