Hotel art wall exceeded height allowed in building regulations

MARIGOT--The colourful murals on the perimeter wall fronting Hotel Mercure in Baie Nettle may be in jeopardy since a court ruling in Marigot deemed the height of the wall exceeds that permitted in the building regulations.
 
  According to the ruling, the wall has to be lowered to 1.80 metres, two thirds of which must be open-worked in accordance with the Plan Occupation de Sol (POS) unless planning permission can be obtained within the deadline and after seeking “alternative technical solutions from the Collectivité to preserve the artwork while allowing visual inspection of the building [hotel – Ed.] exterior,” the judgement reads.
 
  Eleven artists of Cercle des Arts de Sète were invited in December 2018 by hotel owner/director Baki Arbia, himself an avid art lover, to paint the wall.
 
  Sète, a maritime port on a promontory in the south of France near Montpellier, is a thriving mecca for the “new wave” of French artists. Hotel Mercure has since been renamed Hotel Hommage in honour of the artists’ work. 
 
  The art wall height was just one of a number of infractions admitted to in court and unchallenged by Arbia. Other unauthorised offences were connected to irregularities in construction of the hotel’s marina and docks, constructing without authorisation an extension to a building at the former Ma Ti Beach intended for restoration, and hiring undeclared workers at the Ma Ti Beach site.
 
  At the hotel marina, the pontoon and concrete walkway on the lagoon in the public maritime domain (total occupancy of 557.21 square metres) has to be restored to its original state unless a temporary occupation permit AOT is obtained, including for building extension, and with a renewed AOT to replace the one expired in 2018. Moreover, an installation open to the public has to be accessible also for people with disabilities.
 
  Arbia was sentenced to a suspended fine of 5,000 euros. He has 18 months to either destroy or obtain permits for the said infractions (docks, wall and restaurant), after which a 250-euro-per-day penalty applies. The court also seized 10,000 euros.
 
The Daily Herald

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