28.03.2011 22.Adar ll, 5771
Planning authorities may be entrusted with protecting natural treasures in urban areas, but they don't always do their job, environmentalists claim.
Natural "oases" in the midst of congested urban areas were, until lately, defended mainly by environmental activists and neighborhood residents fighting for these treasured areas. Now, however, local planning institutions have come on board, having recognized the importance of conserving these spots and joining the struggle by demanding certain modifications to building plans.
A case in point is the controversy surrounding a grove of Washingtonia Robusta palm trees along Haifa's Rothschild Boulevard. Developers wanted to demolish an old structure adjacent to the trees, and replace it with a six-unit apartment building. The local planning and building committee didn't exactly ignore the grove, but determined that its preservation be dealt with within the framework of the building's overall development scheme….