Design News Preliminary Work

Building Permit Snafu

The architectural design for the retreat involves two levels for the residential part of the structure and three levels for the guest units.

Turns out that the type of building permit I’m required to get is a Pondak Wisata, which is a legal homestay with up to five rentable bedrooms, as well as an owner’s bedroom. The limitations are that the maximum number of levels for the structure is two. So the retreat will need a haircut… possibly.

As I’m learning about Indonesia I’m seeing different points of view regarding how one interacts with officials of various sorts. With the banjar (local community) some donations are made public and others are under the table.

With government inspectors it appears that you can claim you ran out of money and build a simpler (cheaper) structure than the permit specified and still get approval — especially if you have a table to pass $ under.

Building Permit Snafu, Ohana Retreat Bali

Above: Government Building Permit Office (Dinas Cipta Karya Pemerinth Kabupaten)

One technique that is used by developers is to create one set of architectural drawings for the permit office and another for the builder. Hmmm…

What happens when the inspector comes and sees a different looking structure than the plans represent? This is the where either fast talking or $ or some combination of the two might come into play.

But as a foreigner who’s investing quite a bit of money into the land and structure, the dual drawings approach is questionable.

In the USA it’s very common to build, for example, a basement “storage” area and then after the final inspection add a mini-kitchen and bathroom and rent it as a studio apartment.

But drawing two structural levels and building three is a tough one: do you argue that your mathmatical skill leaves something to be desired?

Another problem is that the structure needs to represent Bali. So I was going to add Bali decorations to the entry gate and an exterior stairway roof that faces the main road. But I was told by the government office that 60% of the roof needs to follow Bali tradition, as represented here:

Building Permit Snafu, Ohana Retreat Bali

That’s not going to be a perfect fit over my proposed rooftop bar:

Building Permit Snafu, Ohana Retreat Bali

So… we have a meeting with the architects in a few days and we’ll see what solutions they propose.

Stay tuned.

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