Steps by Bandung officials to enforce zoning and building regulations along the popular North Kuta stretch of Batubelig beach that started with the closure of five beachside restaurants has now widened in scope to include a critical review of the nearby five-star W Retreat and Spa, Bali.
The demolishment of five small restaurants along Batubelig Beach in Kerobokan, North Kuta, commenced on May 7, 2012, with the removal of the last of the five eateries has yet to be completed.
The restaurants, ruled by officials to be standing too close to Bali’s shoreline, were ordered demolished by the regent of Bandung, despite prolonged protests from local community members who cited the businesses’ value as a source of tax revenue and local employment.
The five restaurants ordered closed were: La Barca, Karma, Cantina Beach, Warung Pantai and Cozy Beach.
On of these businesses, the Karma Restaurant has yet to be torn down, while the remaining four establishments have been largely leveled.
Karma, said to be owned by a foreign businessman, received a final formal notification sent on Thursday, May 31, 2012, by the traditional head of the Kerobokan community, A.A. Kompyang Sutedja. That letter gave an absolute a seven-day deadline for final demolition.
Officials have threatened that if the seven-day deadline passes and the restaurant remains standing, bulldozers will be deployed to finish the job.
Meanwhile, Further Down the Beach
Following the crackdown on small businesses along Batubelig beach, zoning officials and members of the Badung House of Representatives (BPRD-Badung) have now turned their attentions to a nearby starred hotel.
According to Radar Bali, the W Retreat and Spa, Bali is being accused by legislators of erecting buildings not in conformance with the building plans submitted and approved for the building permit. Members of Commission B of the DPRD-Badung said that the W Resort has violated several zoning regulations and still lacks the operating permits that are required from the regency's tourism office.
Also according to Radar Bali, a check carried out by the Badung Zoning Office on November 3, 2011, uncovered discrepancies in the actual building construction that did not strictly conform with the plans and drawings approved by the regency on May 7, 2011. Cited as non-complying were a roofless building, an increase in the size of the swimming pool, and enlargements in the final construction of a bar and restaurant. The construction of some parts of the hotel are also said to exceed the maximum height limitation of 15 meters.
Like the nearby small restaurants that were recently ordered demolished, the Resort is also said to be in violation of minimum setback requirements.
Zoning officials told Radar Bali that the various violations have resulted in three formal warnings sent to the W Retreat and Spa, Bali, with the final and third warning sent on December 19, 2011. Because no alterations have been undertaken to bring the errant parts of the hotel into compliance with the law, the Zoning Commission has now written to the regency's enforcement agency and tourism office urging more definitive steps be taken against the hotel.
Meanwhile the head of the Infrastructure and Facilities section of the Badung Tourism Office, Nyoman Suradana, told the press that his office had never issued the “principle permit” (izin prinsip) or the operating permit for the hotel. Badung officials are postulating that the hotel may have used the “principle permit” issued in 1987 when the site was still occupied by the former Hotel Intan.
Suradana said his team’s efforts to visit the hotel and personally check the actual permits on file at the hotel were physically barred by the Resort’s Chief of Security.
Separately, the head of the Badung Enforcement Agency (Kasatpol PP), Ketut Martha, has warned that if the hotel does not demonstrate good will in the case they are prepared to take further firm steps in accordance with established procedures.
The owners of the hotel, PT Dua Cahaya Anugrah, represented by its director, Charles Sitorus, accompanied by a technical consultant, I Gusti Nyoman Putra Sardjana, were quoted by Radar Bali as saying that the W Retreat and Spa Bali holds an operating permit issued to a foreign investment company (PMA) by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).
Sitorus originally claimed that the resort holds an operating licenses issued by the regent of Badung. However, when Badung officials vehemently denied issuing the subject license, the company’s director withdrew his statement.
Sitorus apologized to the legislators. Claiming he did not know the details of structures considered to be in violation of zoning laws, saying any such mistakes are merely the fault of an “egotistical” architect. When asked when repairs and correction would be made, Sitorus said steps were being taken and begged for time to be allowed to address the matter.
[Five Batubelig Restaurants That are No More]
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