Bureaucratic Reforms Seeks to Make Home Improvements Easier

YERUSHALAYIM -

Building onto your house will be easier in the future.

That was the upshot of a unanimous Cabinet decision to approve Minister of the Interior Gideon Saar’s proposal for planning and building reform at Sunday’s meeting.

The bill sweeps aside the need for a building permit to make changes in buildings, such as adding a pergola, awning, or fence, which have no practical effect on the surroundings, Globes reports.

The reform also sets a limit on interminable bureaucratic delays. For the first time, the law will set a 45-day limit for approving certain structures and work, such as closing an existing balcony, adding up to 25 square meters of space, adding a protected room in an existing building, and adding elevators or escalators to an existing building. The bill states that if no approval is issued within that time, the applicant has automatic permission to proceed.

The bill also states, for the first time, the maximum approval process for plans. Approval or rejection of a plan will be made within 12 months for plans under the purview of a local planning and building commission, 18 months for plans under the purview of a regional planning and building commission, and 24 months for town and national outline plans.

“I think that passing this is very important because it is one of the main ways to reduce housing prices in Israel, or at least stem the rise in prices,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the cabinet.

The bill will go the ministerial legislation committee for approval, and is due to be sent to the Knesset for its first reading later this week.