"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."