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At Long Last, a Zoning Law for Bali

Governor Pastika’s Long-Debated Zoning Law Now the Rule as Efforts Fail to Introduce Amendments

(11/26/2011) After much debate and agonizing, the Provincial House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) has called an end to efforts to amend the 2009 Zoning Law (RTRWP 2009) and will now formally ratify the hotly contested piece of legislation on November 28, 2011.

The ratification means that efforts have in some quarters to reject or remove sections of the zoning law that restrict building heights to 15 meters; declare no build zones around certain religious monuments; create set back rules from rivers and seashores;  and open the way for criminal prosecution threatening 5 years imprisonment of regional official who grant their own easements to provincial rules have now all failed.

Also postponed indefinitely were the efforts by a Special Committee of the DPRD-Bali assigned the task of “perfecting” the 2009 law. Traditionalistsand religious leaders in Bali were unified in rejecting any changes to the RTRWP, accusing reformers of selling-out to investors and having no concern for the future of Bali and the conservation of its unique culture.

Now with the unchallenged implementation of Provincial Zoning Law No.16 of 2009, steps will begin anew to bring buildings into compliance with the law, particularly those built since the law’s introduction in 2009.

A group calling itself a the Team for the Enforcement of Bhisma at Religious Sites visited the DPRD-Bali on Thursday, November 11, 2011, demanding legislators act consistently in the enforcement of the RTRWP.

Bhisma
are Hindu religious principles or dogma that have been codified in the zoning law.

The team, received by the vice-chairman of the House, Ida Bagus Sukartha, the chairman of Commission I Made Arjaya and several other legislators, delivered four demands to the House. First, that legislators be consistent in the implementation of the 2009 zoning law. Second, that legislators acknowledge that Bali has its natural attraction because of its heritage and the stewardship of past generations who carefully guarded Hindu religious principles. Third, that legislators must always act in an open and transparent manner with the people and the press, operating inclusively in any future discussion regarding changing existing laws. And fourth, to investigate thoroughly if money and corruption has played any part in recent divisive efforts to frustrate the new zoning law.