“Finally there will be certainty”: The real estate sector responds to Globes disclosure of the initiative to cancel building regulation relaxations

Yesterday evening Globes revealed that the Director-General of the Planning Administration, Dalit Zilber, intends to cancel building regulation relaxations. Many in the real estate sector welcome the move to cancel the building relaxations, and create planning certainty for developers, who find it difficult at times to forecast whether or not they will receive the relaxations. Leading the building relaxation cancellations is a relaxation by virtue of the Sheves Regulations, which allows local committees to approve additional housing units at a rate of 20-30% of the number of apartments already approved in the various planning committees. Zilber intends to cancel the relaxations by means of a change in legislation in the next Knesset, and the cancellation will apply to new plans promoted following the legislative change. The initiative received a host of reactions where, as can be expected, those who gain from the use of the relaxations object to the step, but there are also those who support and welcome it.

19.02.2019 | Shlomit Tsur

Attorneys Ronen Yardeni and Ram Museri, partners at law firm Hamburger Evron & Co., and experts in the field of planning and building:

“We believe that canceling the building relaxations procedure is a problematic move that could have an adverse effect on the real estate market. It is important to remember that the relaxation procedure is the result of an essential need, which stems from the extended planning processes in the State of Israel and the desire to allow planning flexibility and specific adjustments of approved plans, some of which are decades old, both in terms of the specific details of the relevant lot and in terms of contemporary planning trends. There are many instances in which the lot data does not allow realization of the construction rights granted to it according to the approved plans, for example because of building delineations or the number of floors. Use of the relaxations enables the necessary adjustments to be made without needing to resort to a lengthy planning process.

For example, the Sheves relaxation, which allows for the addition of housing units, came into being in the 1990s during the large waves of immigration from the Soviet Union, to enable the speedy addition of housing units and to provide an immediate solution to making thousands of housing units available for those immigrants. Today, that same housing shortage exists, if not more so. Canceling the option of using the relaxation to add housing units will only exacerbate the situation and require submission of new plans and long-drawn-out planning procedures”.