Sewers Sink Affordable Housing

Developer Amir Ziv thought he'd received all the approvals he needed for a controversial affordable housing development in Columbia, MO - but failed to count on storm water regulations.

"When the council voted unanimously I thought the Public Works Department would get the message 'Let's work with this guy, let's make this thing happen,' " Ziv said.

Instead, Ziv said, subdivision regulations stymie his efforts at every turn. His project on Ridgeway Avenue falls under subdivision regulations because of its Planned Unit Development zoning designation.

He has been able to compromise with the city about storm water regulations and the cost of site plans, but his latest roadblocks are an 8-inch sewer main requirement and the cost to buy and install water meters, which he said would cost $17,000 before he even applies for a permit.

"The margins aren't big enough," he said. "If I want to build affordable housing, they just took away all of my margin."

Full Story: Developer: City can’t ‘think out of the box’



Sewers Sink Affordable Housing

a few things on Ziv's "affordable housing." 1st off, where's the hardship? Ziv is telling us he didn't know about the subdivision regs prior to buying the site? 2nd, if its really going to be "affordable housing" then loose the garages. Low-income households spend +40% of their income on keeping one auto on the road. tough to fit mortgage payments in with those finances. 3rd, looks like he's bldg on a green field (not sure though) so there's probably no infrastructure in-place so of course town is asking for sewer main etc. throw on a green roof, rain garden etc instead of all that impervious surface and he'd get a waiver for the stormwater requirements. Ziv should look for in-fill sites, with better transit, in-place infrastructure etc. for more suitable "affordable housing."
Larry Shaeffer

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