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And the Walls Come Tumbling Down

Bali Legislators Want Villas that Violate Zoning Rules Torn Down.

(10/23/2010) The Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) is calling on regencies and municipalities in Bali to urgently bring buildings into line that violate zoning regulations.

Underlining the seriousness of their intent, Bali legislators are requesting that regencies and cities undertake the demolishing of villas, hotels and tourism facilities found to be in violation of building and zoning codes. Chief among those building they would like to see torn down are those built within a 5 kilometre radius of major religious temples.

The vice-chairman of Commission IV of the DPRD-Bali, Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana said to beritabali.com on October 21, 2010, that investors have continually and frequently tried to approach policymakers to obtain permission to build in "no-build" areas surrounding sacred temples, and within forbidden set-back zones from rivers and ocean fronts. Said Adnyana, "Bali in the future will become increasingly attractive to investors, resulting in investors seeking more opportunities to build in places currently considered to be sacred."

Adnyana also called on all regencies and municipalities in Bali to quickly bring their local regulations into line with the new provincial zoning rules (RTRW). To date, only Denpasar has formally ratified the new RTRW legislation.

Growing Support for New Zoning Rules

Meanwhile, the Hindu Youth Movement of Concern for Bali (Gerakan Pemuda Hindu Peduli Bali) is pressuring the DPRD-Bali to take legal action against investors found to be violating Bali's zoning laws, particularly those building within 5 kilometres of sacred temples.

The demand was sounded during demonstrations staged by the group in front of the provincial legislature on Thursday, October 21, 2010. The coordinator of the movement, Kadek Sumadiarta, told the press that the consequence of the lack of firm enforcement and implementation of the RTRW has emboldened investors to lobby for a change in the current rules to the Supreme Court of Indonesia.

Sumardiarta warned, "if the sacred radius is changed from 5 kilometres to 2 kilometres, the entire shape of Bali will be altered."

Sumardiarta also called on legislators to exempt from property taxes traditional lands within the no-build sacred zones in order to ease any burden caused by the enforcement of the RTRW.He suggested that in the long term the provincial government should try to purchases these lands and take over ownership within the 5 kilometres radius of sacred temples.

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