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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.
January 1, 2009, 7am PST | Tim Halbur
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"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."

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Published on Monday, December 29, 2008 in The Columbia Tribune
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