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Governor Pastika Launches Zoning Offensive

Governor Orders Demolition of Illegal Structures and Moratorium on New Hotel and Villa Investment in Three Regions of Bali.

(2/12/2011) Three letters dispatched recently by Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika to the regional administrations in Badung, Gianyar and Denpasar reminded all those addressed of the need to comply with the 2009 zoning law (RTRW) for Bali. The letter addressed to the regent of Badung, called on A.A. Gde Agung to restore the sanctity of the 5 kilometer "no-build zone" around the Uluwatu temple.

As reported in Bali Post, the head of the Provincial Enforcement Agency (Satpol Pamong Praja Provinsi Bali), I Gede Putu Jaya Suartama, said on February 7, 2011, "in accordance with checks carried out by our officers in Kuta and Pecatu, there are 25 villas and private residences that violate their permits." Suartama said most of the permit violations involved villas. For instance, his staff found villas holding a principle permit issued at the time of the initial investment, but had no subsequent building permit. Inspectors also found buildings registered as private residences being used for commercial accommodation. "One fact that was most embarrassing was the Best Western Hotel that was fully built, but lacks complete licenses and permits. How is it that a villa or hotel is allowed to stand without permits?" asked Suartama.

Because of this, Bali's governor has written to the regent of Badung demanding that definite steps be taken against illegal structures, offering back up from provincial enforcement agencies, if needed.

Moratorium

The governor has also written separately to the head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) in Jakarta asking for a temporary moratorium on approval of new permits for accommodation services (starred hotels and melati hotels), regardless of whether the investment requests originate from domestic or foreign investors. The freeze of new permits dates from January 5, 2011, and remains in effect until a thorough study of the actual need for accommodation can be conducted.

The provincial spokesman for Bali, Drs. Ketut Teneng, said the governor's letters were dispatched following a meeting held with tourism leaders last month. At that meeting, many members of the tourism industry called on the governor to take steps against the large number of illegal hotels and villas found in south Bali. The tourism managers also called for a more equitable distribution of accommodation supply between the southern and northern areas of the island.