Resort Condominiums – Specialty Hotel Accommodations – Real Estate & Construction
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Over the years, real estate entrepreneurs have erected a significant number of residential projects, built in various parts of the country, including along the sea, on land designated for tourism and recreation. This situation was made possible, among other things, by the erection of projects marketed and called “”aparthotels” or “Resort Condominiums”. Indeed, these projects corresponded to the provisions of the urban plan applicable to the land, which provided that it was possible to erect hotels on the land and build resort condominiums that could be sold to individuals, but in fact these apartments served as residential apartments for all intents and purposes.
In this context, and in order to avoid the flight of land from the public sector to the private sector, at the end of the 1990s, the Ministry of Tourism withdrew its recognition of this type of hotel accommodation (Resort Condominiums) as recognized residence. means of accommodation. Courts have also begun to toughen stances on real estate contractors for building residences on land intended for hotels.
The Policy of the Courts and the Ministry of Tourism
One of the most significant and significant judgments regarding the maintenance of recreational land areas for public welfare was made by the Supreme Court in the appeal of Administrative Petition 2273/03 Blue Island et al. . against the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel et al. given on 07/12/2006 (Herzlia marina case). The Supreme Court rejected the appeal lodged by the contracting companies, while adopting the judgment of the Honorable Judge U. Goren in the administrative petition 98/2038, and laid down the principle that in tourist areas, in which, for their designation defined in the provisions of the zoning plan applying to the area and/or in accordance with the national zoning plans, it is possible to erect a “hotel residence” and/or “Resort Condominiums”, then the units that are there may be sold to the general public, provided that two principles are maintained: first, the structure will be planned, erected and operated as a hotel; second, the accommodation units will be available to the general public almost every day of the year.
Along with court rulings, and in light of the fact that approved zoning plans still contain terms such as “hotel residence” and “Resort Condominiums” or the term “special resort accommodation”, in new zoning plans, such as Permitted Uses on Tourist Land as its designation, the Ministry of Tourism has also decided to speak out on the matter and present its position and tourism policy on the subject. The policy of the Ministry of Tourism has been expressed in the Circular of the Director General regarding special hotel accommodation1:
“The areas along the coast and other parts of the country, which have natural and landscape resources and are intended for hotel use, are limited and narrow, and must be protected to be used for public interest designations. , namely – tourism and holidays. Therefore, the need has arisen to focus the position and policy of the Ministry of Tourism for maximum protection of these areas, in order to guarantee tourist uses and the benefit of the general public” .
Private hotel accommodation was defined in the Director General’s Circular as follows: a hotel defined in the provisions of the plan applying to the sector in the nomenclature of land uses and/or land uses as “hotel-residence” and /or “holiday apartments” and/or a hotel operating on a timeshare or leaseback basis.
According to the Circular of the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, the main principles according to which it is possible to build a hotel including “special hotel accommodation” (holiday apartments) refer to the physical elements of hotels, the location of hotels of the country, the limitation of the number of holiday residences in relation to the total number of hotel units and the authorized use of holiday apartments, while emphasizing in this respect the provisions which must be included in the contract of sale of the holiday apartments, and the authorities of the hotel management company, all with the aim of guaranteeing the use and operation of the hotel, and preventing the option of exclusive private use of the accommodation units , including for residential purposes.
The Application of the Provisions of the Circular of the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism
In the context of the aforementioned circular from the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, it was specified that: “The construction of storage facilities in the land allocated to the provisions of the urban planning scheme for tourism and its uses in the plan are defined as “hotel residences” and/or “holiday apartments” and/ According to the principles of special hotel accommodation as detailed in this circular.
The general manager’s circular applies to both existing zoning plans and new zoning plans, setting out different provisions. Here are two main differences:
Limitation of the number of holiday apartments that can be included in the hotel compared to other hotel units: in the event of new zoning plans, the circular provides that the total area of the holiday apartments must not exceed 49% of the area total of hotel units, while there is no similar limitation in the existing zoning plans.
Self-use of holiday apartments: The requirement in existing zoning plans is that the period of self-use in the holiday apartment does not exceed nine cumulative months per year. On the other hand, the requirement in the new zoning plans is that the self-use period should not exceed six months minus one day cumulatively in a year.
To ensure the management and use of the hotel and to monitor the existence of the principles set out in the Director General’s Circular, arrangements have been made which would apply to existing plans and new reports.
For example, it was decided to cancel the possibility of self-marketing of Resort Condominiums and to establish uniform rules for all purchasers of Resort Condominiums, so that the marketing of all Resort Condominiums will be carried out only by the hotel management company.
In addition, it has been decided that the Ministry of Tourism will coordinate with the local planning and building committee on a number of issues related to holiday apartments, including the conditions for granting Form 4 (Tofs 4), including the following conditions:
Obtain the approval of the Ministry of Tourism that the sales and management contracts signed with the purchasers of the Resort Condominiums comply with the principles of this procedure in terms of hotel management, operation and use;
After the issuance of Form 4, the Ministry of Tourism will verify the hotel operation of the project by a hotel management company, including the presentation of a hotel operating license.
The granting of Form 4 for the project is conditional on receipt of an occupancy form for the part of the project that will be used as a “regular hotel”.
There is no doubt that the advantages contained in the intervention of the courts and the Ministry of Tourism in defining a policy, as expressed in the circular of the general manager concerning special hotel accommodation (while coordinating with the local committees of planning and construction) are numerous, and that if and insofar as these are applied and properly respected, it is a blessing which will benefit the public in general and will preserve the public space which continues to shrink from anyway.
1 Circular from the Director General no. 5/2009 published 05/25/2009; Amendment 1 to Director General’s Circular 16/2009; Amendment 2 to Director General’s Circular 8/2011 and Amendment 3 to Director General’s Circular 1/2013.
Originally published September 2017
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