City told to revise regulations on cultural heritage protection
City Council recommended on Friday that the administration revise gubernatorial decree No. 457/1993 and administration regulation No. 9/1999 on heritage conservation to strengthen its power in protecting heritage buildings.
“The two regulations are weak and obsolete; so the administration has inadequate power to enforce the protection of old buildings in the city,” head of the Council’s commission B overseeing tourism and culture Selamat Nurdin said in a hearing with the Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency and the Jakarta Construction Supervision and Regulation Agency (P2B).
Gubernatorial decree No. 457/1993 lists only 216 buildings as heritage buildings that are divided into three categories. Buildings of category A are not allowed to be torn down unless under certain conditions and any renovation should make no changes to the original designs.
Category B buildings may be demolished internally but the main external structure must remain unchanged. Category C buildings may be altered and renovated but in accordance with the primary designs of the surrounding neighborhood.
The head of the Jakarta restoration trial team, Bambang Ari Gunawan, said that the Tourism and Culture Agency had not renewed the list for five years due to lack of budget. “There should have been around 400 buildings to be listed now,” he said, adding that the list, therefore, should be revised based on updated observations.
Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency head Arie Budiman said that all related agencies — of tourism, spatial planning and of construction supervision and regulation — should cooperate among themselves so there would not be any buildings renovated without the supervision of the agencies.
“All old buildings that are included as cultural heritage should have permits first from the P2B,” Arie said, adding that the P2B had consult with the restoration trial team who would determine whether the buildings were allowed to be renovated and what kind of renovation could be done.
Bambang suggested that the city administration offer incentives, such as the reduction of the land and building tax, to heritage buildings’ owners who needed to spend budgets maintaining buildings. “We can provide a discount of 50 percent or even exempt them from the property tax because maintaining buildings is not cheap,” said Bambang, who is also a governor adviser on cultural heritage.
Bambang also said that if an owner did not want to take care of a heritage building, the administration might take over the renovation. But, the costs would still be charged on the owner. “If the owner cannot afford it, he/she has to sell the building to a third party,” he said.
Not all old buildings in Jakarta belong to the Jakarta administration. Some of them belong to state-owned enterprises, private companies and individuals.
The meeting was held after the issuance of a pre-construction permit to renovate an old building on Jl. Cilacap in Menteng, Central Jakarta, which used function as a telecommunication center Telefoongebouw in 1923.
According to the P2B, it released the pre-construction permit to the owning company for the establishment of the foundation of a new building because its front part was listed in category B and the back part in category C.
The company plans to change Telefoongebouw into a hotel. (cor)