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Legal Challenge to Bali's New Zoning Law Fails

Indonesian Constitutional Court Rejects Efforts to Reject Bali's Tough New Zoning Regulations.

(1/17/2011) Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika has announced that legal challenges before the Indonesian Constitutional Court to his island-wide zoning regulation (RTRW) have been rejected.

As reported by Bali Post, the governor, although certain of the defeat of those community members opposing the new zoning law, has yet to receive a formal copy of the Court's decision affirming his victory. "We are bold enough to confirm that the suit (against the RTRW) has been rejected. With this development, one phase in the implementation of the RTRW has been completed," explained Pastika at a meeting with religious leaders in his office on Wednesday, January 12, 2011.

Now seeing the road as clear for the implementation of the sometime controversial zoning regulation, the governor is now preparing to move ahead with the implementation of the RTRW. "We have written to the bupatis (regents) and mayors across Bali cautioning them not to issue any new building permits that do not conform with the RTRW," said Pastika.

The governor has called on regional chiefs to prepare to enforce the law as it applies to those who have opposed the new zoning law or those who have built projects that do not conform with the provisions of the law. "The next step will be enforcement," warned the governor.

Admitting that enforcing the law will present challenges, especially when that enforcement affects the interests of those deriving profit from illegal buildings, Pastika called for Bali's religious leaders to support enforcement efforts during the challenging days ahead.

The governor also underlined the need for consistency in application of the new zoning law, if the RTRW is to be successfully implemented.

At the same meeting, the chairman of the founders group of the Bhisama Kawasan Suci, front-liners in preserving the sanctity of Bali's religious sites, Drs. I Ketut Wiana, said his organization was thankful that legal challenges to the RTRW had failed. He said the new zoning laws reflects the aspirations of the Balinese people who wish to save the island's spirituality and natural assets. He added that he hoped every part of the new zoning law would be firmly and consistently implemented.

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