Two Bali newspapers, NusaBali and BisnisBali, both report that the Best Western Sapta Petala Hotel in Kuta has opened for business, despite lacking the required operating permits and licenses.
As reported previously on Balidiscovery.com, the 110-room Best Western hotel on Jalan Kubu Anyar in Kuta is at a legal impasse with local tourism officials who insist the hotel was illegally erected in an area zoned to specifically prohibit the presence of hotels and apartment units. Local tourism officials in Kuta claim that, short of changing the zoning laws, there is no way they can issue the necessary operating permits. Meanwhile, community members and a former representatives of the Badung Regency's House of Representatives have vowed to file for an injunction with the administrative courts if the hotel is allowed to open.
Nusa Bali reports that the hotel has brazenly opened its doors and published a brochure renaming itself the Best Western Resort Kuta.
Cita Imbara, who heads the Organization of the People's Aspirations (BAR) and a former local legislator said: "This is too much, we have visited the field and see the situation. They have made a brochure which would (only) be acceptable if they has a license."
Umbara insists that the needed permits cannot be issued for the hotel without ignoring local zoning laws which specifically set the area aside for non-commercial private residences.
Umbara said: "What's clear is that there must be concrete action from the government in dealing with this problem. If the case is allowed to continue, the resolve of those who enforce local regulations must be questioned. What's even more disturbing, how can a hotel without permits open and be receiving bookings? This is not just talk, we have seen for ourselves and this is the case."
The hotel originally opened in 1983 as a 7-room guest house, expanding over time to become a modern 110-room hotel.
BisnisBali aptly describes the difficult impasse that local authorities have created for themselves, saying questions are being raised as to how zoning and building supervisors could have allowed such a large project to be built without the necessary building permits. If an exception to the law is granted permitting the hotel to operate, that fact will create an unfortunate precedent, pointing the way for future projects to break local laws as quickly as possible in order to sort out the matter at a later date. The question remains: Will Badung tourism and building authorities have the courage and authority to require the demolition of the illegal building?
Efforts by NusaBali to obtain comment by the hotel's owner, I Wayan Wijaya, have been unsuccessful.
[Does the Sheriff Always Win at the Best Westerns?]
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