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Don't Let the Rules Get in the Way

Badung Regency Resisting Governor's Order to Halt New Hotel Investments and Demolish Illegal Buildings in South Bali.

Bali News: Bali, Indonesia. RTRW, Zoning, Putu Parwata, Made Mangku Pastika, Uluwatu, investment
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Holding true to his pledge to push on with full implementation of Bali's new zoning law (RTRW) [See: Legal Challenge to Bali's New Zoning Law Fails], governor Made Mangku Pastika has dispatched three letters that are now causing some concern for the Badung regional government which controls much of the island's south.

The three letters in question are:

• Letter No. 645/61/Sat Pol Dated January 14, 2011 calling for the demolishing of 25 buildings standing within the 5 kilometer forbidden zone surrounding Uluwatu Temple.

• Letter No. 660.1/2080/Bid.Was/BLH regarding control of spatial use zoning issues.

• Letter No. 570/1665/BPM ordering a temporary moratorium on principle agreements or investment registrations for hotels and guests house.

According to the Bali Post, the governor's letters have prompted the chairman of the Badung House of Representatives (DPRD-Badung) to call a meeting of legislators to discuss how best to respond to the governor's demands which are seen as especially burdensome for the Badung regency.

The chairman of Commission B of the DPRD-Badung and also the chairman of a special committee for the Badung Zoning regulations (RTRW Badung), Putu Parwata, said that the final revisions of a separate RTRW for Badung are in now hand. While the Badung version largely conforms with the provincial zoning law, there are a few areas in which changes have been made to address the "special circumstances" of the Badung regency. To cite just one example, Parwata mentioned the prohibition on new permits for tourism accommodation, saying: "this letter is very detrimental to the situation of Badung which derives much of its regional tax revenues from tourism. So, it will be very difficult for us to implement this requirement."

Parwata labeled as not only "difficult" but "impossible" the order from the governor to demolish buildings standing within a 5 kilometer radius of the Uluwatu temple. The regional legislator pointedly asked who would compensate the losses that will result if the demolishing takes place. Moreover, he said that there were tens of buildings that would have to be torn down representing substantial investments. "This is really difficult, What's more, it's not clear who must be responsible for demolishing the buildings, the province of the regency?" asked Parwata.

Parwata said better coordination was needed between the various elements of the Bali's provincial and regional governments, demanding that intervention and interference (in the region's affairs) be kept to a minimum. He pointed to zoning rules where Badung has established its own guidelines in accordance with local conditions. Purwata also said that the new provincial RTRW represented insufficient grounds to demolish the buildings standing within 5 kilometers of the Uluwatu temples, particularly in light of the far-reaching legal and social implications that will result.

Regarding a moratorium on issuing new permits for investment in tourism accommodation, Parwata said such a ruling with "kill" the Badung regency.

A special session of the DPRD-Badung will soon be convened to compose a formal written response to the governor, calling on Pastika to repeal his letters.

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