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Malls as Malaise in Bali

New Mall in South Kuta, Bali Accused of Violating Zoning and Building Codes

(5/11/2013) According to Denpost, a new shopping mall being built in South Bali is raising questions, once again, as to whom, if anybody, is enforcing the zoning regulations and building codes.

The latest focus of public ire is the ongoing construction of what appears to be a new mall being erected across from the St. Fransikus Xaverius Catholic Church on Jalan Kartika Plaza in South Kuta.

Observers, including the adjoining Bakung Beach Cottage and Restaurant owner, I Nyoman Graha Wicaksana, are questioning if the new structure conforms to the maximum 15-meter height restriction in place under the 2009 RTRWP zoning law.

Graha complained to the press on Monday, May 6, 2013, that the new building is clearly taller than 15-meters. Because of this, he is calling on the government to enforce zoning and building laws.

Complained the hotel owner: “If this is not controlled, I am worried that it will have far-reaching effects. In addition to the negative impact on security, other projects will follow their negative example destroying Kuta for the people who work and live there.”

In a threatening tone, Graha warned: “If the government won’t take action (to enforce the law), the people will take independent action.” Graha, who also leads a Kuta community group, urged the regency’s government to undertake an inspection of the site, adding, “If the government won’t act, whom can we turn to?”

A similar warning was sounded by another Kuta leader, Nyoman Gede Aryana, who called for an end to granting new permits for malls in Kuta. Complaining the traffic congestion has become acute, Aryana questioned how can traffic be controlled if permits for new malls continued to be issued?

The Community Chief (Lurah) of Kuta, I Wayan Daryana, commented separately that he has received numerous similar complaints from his constituents. He said that these complaints had been forwarded to the relevant government agencies. He confirmed that a combined team for the regency had surveyed the new mall following complaints from local citizens that water mixed with sand was being pumped into drainage ditches creating floods in the surrounding areas.

In recent weeks a number of hotel building projects - all in seeming violation of zoning and building regulations - have been spotlighted in the local press.

Also adding fuel to the perception that the Regency has lost control of development is the fact that a hotel in Kuta is operating without a building permit, business license and standing in an area specifically prohibited for hotel operations.

Local officials appear impotent to close the blatantly illegal hotel down despite issue a number of warnings to the owner who local press depict as "politically connected."