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Making Up the Rules as They Go Along

Sara Residence in Legian Making Bali Officials Angry with its Refusal to Obtain Required Permits and Licenses.

(10/5/2009) As reported previously on balidiscovery.com, another hotel in Bali has commenced operations without first obtaining the required zoning permits and operating licenses. [See: Sara Residence in Bali - Where Rules Don't Apply]

In a follow up report in Radar Bali, the owner of the Sara Residence, located on Jalan Nakula in the Legian area of Bali, is alleged to be ignoring warnings from local officials to halt all operations until such a time as all necessary licenses and permits are in hand. The luxury hotel who license positions itself as a "homestay" (kelas melati) is apparently in possession of only a "principle permit" (izin prinsip) and does not hold any of the other required permits and licenses, including a building permit (IMB).

Radar Bali reporters who have been observing the operation of the 11 rooms property says that occupancy has been high over the Lebaran Holiday period. In the building's parking lot a number of luxury vehicles from Jakarta and Surabaya have been parked with guests seen regularly coming and going from the property.

Hotel operations continue despite recent warnings from Badung Regency officials who are coordinating with local enforcement officials for more punitive action. The Badung official, Nyoman Suardana, said: "After we checked, the hotel's owner claimed he was only conducting training for his staff and that the property was not formally opened for operations."

Officials found this explanation from the owner peculiar and difficult to comprehend. The Chief tourism official for the regency of Badung, Made Subawa, said all new hotels are given a period of three months during which they can train their staff. In the case of the Sara Residence, however, the hotel has been operating on a training basis for almost an entire year. Parwata, the owner of the hotel does not deny this, explaining that while waiting for permits and licenses to be processed the hotel is receiving guests in order to make some return on investment.

Suardana told the press that requests to the owner to cease operations until the necessary permits are in hand, have been met with unfulfilled promises from the owner. At the end of his patience in the case, Suardana told Radar Bali, "just wait and see, we will be taking action against them."

Another owner of the Sara Residence Project, I.B. Suryahadi has purportedly provided false explanations to officials. Acknowledging warning letters from the regency asking that operations be suspended during the licensing period, Suryahadi told Radar Bali: "We are not operating. We are still waiting for our licenses to be issued."

Despite Suryahadi's explanations, reporters told of a number of vehicles in the hotel's parking lot with license plates origination form Jakarta and Surabaya. Meanwhile, laundry was hanging from the upper floor of one of the units.