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North Bali Officials Begin to Look at Set Back Violators

Hotel Baruna Owner Summoned to Explain Reclamation and Building Violations in Bali's North Shore.

(10/18/2008) Reacting to growing public complaints and coverage in Bali's press, the regional government in the North Bali regency of Buleleng is gradually beginning to take legal steps against local businesses that violate zoning and set back rules.

According to the Bali Post, the owner of the Hotel Baruna in the village of Pemaron has been summoned by the regional government to explain apparent violations. The head of the legal department of the Regent's office for Buleleng, Made Widhiartha, said efforts to meet the owners of the hotel during a visit last week to the site were unsuccessful. Staff on duty at the Hotel Baruna were unable to answer questions from government officials regarding reclamation work and violations of set back rules.

Widhiartha told the press that, based on his first-hand observations, the dredging of bottom soil for reclamation and the close proximity of buildings to the high water mark are in violation of the law. The official added: "While the intentions of the hotelís owner to dredge were honorable and meant to stop erosion, the reclamation height is too high and the buildings erected on that reclaimed land prevents local people from using the beach front."

Widhiartha says he now plans to call Putra Suartana, the owner of the hotel for an explanation. Suartana is also the owner of the Mapindo Educational Institute in Bali who purchased the North Bali hotel from a local politician a few months ago.

As reported in the Bali press, a local government survey team visiting the hotel discovered illegal dredging and buildings built at the water's very edge .

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