In 2018, the couple Esther and David Hayut underwent extensive renovations at the home of Supreme Court President Esther Hayut in the Tzahala neighborhood of Tel Aviv. On the ground floor, they dug, deepened and touched the foundation beams. Three columns were removed and the floor was deepened. The openings were also touched.
According to the provisions of the law, this internal change requires a building permit, except that the couple never applied for a permit to remove the columns and work that actually touched the foundation beams.
Dozens of photos that reached the “main story”, drawings and internal email correspondence testified better than any other evidence: the works – required a building permit.
Why did the couple not apply for a building permit for the work they performed on the ground floor in 2018? The answer, perhaps, is in a protocol that dealt with the couple’s home and from it it is unequivocally clear that in the property belonging to the couple Esther and David Hayut, construction offenses were committed in the past.
During 1997, David Hayut withdrew an application for a building permit, which he submitted to perform work on the couple’s home. The request was continued following comments from which it was clear that illegal construction work had already been done on the house in the past. In the permit application, there was no match between the existing condition in the house and the old condition in previous permits.
The licensing engineer in the Tel Aviv municipality who was required to apply, explicitly stated that work had been carried out on the house without a permit. Elena Davidson stated in her response to the request: “The request in question includes an additional space of approximately 1.60 square meters on the ground floor in the front, which is not marked on the submission plan and is not requested in the content of the request.” There is no reference to the addition of an area of about 120 m, which exists without a permit on the ground floor on the eastern side. “
“There is no reference to changes in the development of the area, which were made without a permit.”
“On the lot at the back there is a wooden pergola that was built without a permit and is now in need of demolition.” Here, regarding the pergola, it is worth noting that this is an old pergola that was built by the previous owners of the property and not by the couple Hayut.
As stated, following Ms. Davidson’s comments, David Hayut withdrew the couple’s application for a permit for the work they intended to perform. The request – say officials in the Tel Aviv municipality, continued at the time because the couple could not get a permit for new work, where work was allegedly carried out without a permit. The closing application stated: ‘In the name of the applicant, David Hayut, we are requesting, at this stage, to close the application for the renovation of fences, the renovation of exterior plaster, the replacement of windows and the demolition of interior partitions. The closure of the application stems from the comments raised regarding the compatibility of the application with the previous building permits, and the need to examine the issue thoroughly. “
One thing is clear beyond any doubt, the Tel Aviv Municipality also ruled that construction work had been carried out without a permit in the house on Jonathan Street in Tel Aviv. Works that require punishment by law and suffice it to mention the words of President Esther Hayut only about two years ago: “Construction crime, unfortunately, has degenerated into a ‘state plague’ in our places.” Construction criminals do justice to themselves and expose both the public and the relevant establishment to a fait accompli of structures that deviate from the approved construction plans. In doing so, construction offenders are harming the proper planning that the planning institutions have been working on, and no less so the rule of law, the public and the environment. “
Back to 2018. Remember, the materials we uncovered testify to the work done on the ground floor. The drawings and works actually carried out seem to indicate a deepening of the floor. The drawings and photographs testified to the removal of part of a basic source.
The drawings and photos, as well as the internal email correspondence from 2018, indicated that the work, which was not foreseeable, was carried out without any permit application being submitted. Only visible works were specified in the permit application in 2019 – as mentioned, works most of which are completely different from those done on the ground floor.
In the response of Esther and David Hayut, the two refer to a building permit issued to the previous owner as early as 1980. It is worth noting that the building permit expired after 3 years and an old permit cannot be used after many years.
The response read: “Our home in Tel Aviv was purchased in 1990 and during the thirty years that have passed since then we have not asked to add or add any construction space to it. Needless to say, the property currently has many unused building rights, including about 100 square meters above ground.
Despite the considerable effort you put into “fishing” out of the building file any reference to alleged construction offenses, and despite the absurd attempt to attribute such offenses to us, your current application as well as the previous application raises claims that have no basis.
This time, your application relates to a draft of a protocol from 1997 that you found in the building file, with comments from an inspector regarding a request from that year, the main purpose of which was to renovate a side and rear fence within the lot boundaries (which was not carried out). The same draft stated that there is an addition of 1.6 sq.m. on the ground floor in the front, which was approved as a permit under 1980 (at the request of the previous owners of the property), and was not included in the calculation of the main areas in the 1997 application to renovate the fence. It also stated that there was an additional 1.2 square meters of space on the side facade of the building, and that this addition was approved for application according to a permit from 1980 (submitted by the previous owners of the property), but no permit was issued for non-payment of construction fees.
After so many years it is difficult to ascertain the correctness of what is stated in the draft protocol from 1997. However, the fact that in both 1991 and 2019 we applied for and received permits for various construction works on the property, indicates that what is said in that draft protocol is far from reflecting the reality of things.
As part of the application for a building permit in 2019, the building file was examined and a computerized topographic map was submitted to the Tel Aviv Municipality from a certified surveyor of each plot, including the house, including the sections and facades and the lot, including: control rooms, fences, trees, flooring, paths and stairs. The application and the maps attached to it were examined by the municipality and inspectors even came to the house to physically inspect it. No construction anomalies were found and a building permit was granted.
The comment in the draft protocol from 1997, regarding an addition of 1.6 square meters on the ground floor in the front, shows that the above area was approved as part of a building permit given to the previous owners in 1980, so in any case it is not a building without a permit. It should also be noted that in 1980 different rules for calculating areas applied than those in 1997, since only in 1992 were the Planning and Building Regulations enacted (calculation of areas and percentages of construction in plans and permits), which established a distinction between main areas and service areas. The fact that the above area (160 square centimeters) was included in the permit from 1980 but was not taken into account, reflects a method of calculation that was acceptable at the time and can be seen in most permits from that period.
As for the area of 1.2 square meters mentioned in the draft protocol (120 square centimeters), there is a Gramoshka building file from 1980 with a permit stamp and over the years it is difficult to find out whether, according to the examiner, the building fees were not paid by the previous owner and the permit was not issued. Lest the fees be paid and the permit issued. Such a situation where permits from decades ago (in this case 40 years) are missing in the building file is a common situation and often has to be learned about their existence from external circumstances. As stated, both in 1991 and in 2019, we applied for building permits for work performed on the property, and these were issued without any comments being made regarding construction irregularities.
We do not know which “changes in the development of the area” refers to the draft protocol from 1997. As a matter of fact, in 1991, shortly after the purchase of the property, we made changes in the development of the area, but these were made after obtaining a lawful permit.