S’ville Beach Businesses Given Strict Guidelines

New building guidelines for Sihanoukville’s O’Tres Beach are too restrictive, business owners there said Monday. They plan to file a complaint with the governor’s office, they said.

The complaint will be the latest in a series of ups and downs for the some 70 businesses located on the beach.

Earlier this month the businesses were told they faced eviction, but were then informed that they only had to follow some new building standards if they wanted to stay.

According to the guidelines, beachfront businesses on O’Tres are allowed a 4-by-9-meter dining area, two separate 4-by-4-meter kio­sks and a 4-by-4-meter kitchen ar­ea, authorities said. The new rules also prohibit guesthouses, multiple stories and concrete foundations for structures.

If businesses make the changes they can stay on the beach for at least five to 10 years, said Khuon Sarun, chief of Commune 4.

Khuon Sarun said authorities will listen to suggestions and that they have already agreed to some changes to the guidelines, such as allowing businesses to have their own toilets. But the businesses must meet the standards by April, she said.

Koy Chhay, owner of the Bamboo Shack restaurant, said the restrictions will hurt his business.

He said his restaurant measures 6-by-20 meters—larger than the guidelines allow. The dining areas described in the standards don’t allow walls, meaning that customers would be subjected to rain in the wet season, he said. At the moment, he can’t afford to make the requested changes, he said.

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