Photo Credit: Flash 90
Forest in Moshav Aminadav

The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Commission has proposed a plan to re-zone forested land planted by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) decades ago on the White Ridge in the Jerusalem Hills, southwest of the capital.

Under the proposal, some 210 acres of agricultural, open space and forest reserve would be re-zoned for use in residential, business and commercial construction.

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The area is located between Moshav Ora and Moshav Aminadav, and the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat Menachem.

Part of the area under the proposal lies within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, and part of it is within the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council District.

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel is not happy about the plan, because construction in the area could damage the delicate ecology.

The city, however, is deeply concerned over the growing housing shortage and pressure to create new, affordable solutions for those who say they are being forced out of the capital due to the lack of reasonable options.

The plan has now been published for submission of objections from the public. Those objections – and there are many – are being invited for submission to the zoning board over the coming months.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.