Domestic and foreign investors have erected private and commercial villas, and small hotels up and down the beautiful Kubu Coast of Karangasem, East Bali.
On that shore, from the village of Tianyar Barat, the Bali Post reports that many foreign resident have built hotel and villas that may now face destruction. The Post reports that there is even one investor preparing to build a five-star hotel next to a local cemetery.
The chairman of Commission B for the Karangasem House of Representatives (DPRD-Karangasem), Nyoman Oka Antara, told a special assembly on the provincial zoning law (RTRW) that he regretted repeated recommendations and requests for the beach area to be rezoned and declared a tourism zone have yet to receive a formal response from the regency of Karangasem or the provincial government of Bali.
In response, a special team appointed by the Regent of Karangasem told the press that, in fact, their recommendation to make Tianyar Barat Beach a tourism zone has been submitted to the provincial government who rejected the proposal.
A spokesman for the regency team, Sedana Merta, suggested the regency try, once again, to seek the approval of the provincial government. He did not dismiss, however, the possibility that any renewed effort to change the zoning of the beach would also face rejection.
Legislator Oka Antara, who is also a resident of Tianyar Barat Village, said that a Dutch resident had built a villa on Telaga Beach and lived in the area for many years that is technically an illegal structure.
In that area, Antara said, all the villas and melati-class hotels now in operation are illegal due to their inability to obtain the necessary permits, including building permits (IMB). The area in which the hotel and villas stand is not zoned for commercial accommodation making all the building subject to demolition if the current law is enforced.
“The buildings are illegal. If the judicial team or enforcement teams acted in accordance with the rules and ordered the buildings demolished, they would have to be torn down,” explained Antara.
With the provincial government refusing to change the zoning status of the area, Antara expressed the wish that provincial authorities, before rejecting rezoning requests, first visit and inspect the area.
Adding irony to the mix, because of the ongoing administrative impasse, Oka explained that the many villas and hotels along the beach do not pay taxes due to the lack of legal standing for the businesses.
Looming in the background is the added problem that were the area eventually rezoned for tourist accommodation, many of the existing villas along this stretch of beach in North Bali violate mandatory set back rules of 100 meters from the high water mark, making it still impossible for the busiensses to obtain building permits on an ex post facto basis.
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