Edmund Janik doesn't know what to do, but he's going to keep trying.
The Pasadena man, who spent his life savings building an assisted-care home for senior citizens, wants to expand the living quarters to accommodate 15 people.
The problem, he says, is that every time he tries to fulfill the county's requirements, officials add to their demands.
"I ask people from the permit office to come," Mr. Janik said. "The county, they look for more and more and more."
Mr. Janik and his wife, Eugena, are frustrated, and so is the county.
"I can't win for losing with this job," said Frank Ward, assistant director of the county Permit Application Center. "We're trying to deal with them in a cooperative spirit, but what I'm hearing is [Mr. Janik] doesn't feel that way."
After Mr. Janik told a reporter about his problems in April, Mr. Ward said, he met with other county officials to determine what changes needed to be made to make the house ready for the additional nine residents.
Mr. Janik said those meetings led to a new series of requests for improvements to his split-level home.
Some of the revisions Mr. Janik and his architect, Michael Kogut, say they can make easily. Others, such as widening doorways, )) would interfere with the wiring, plumbing and ventilation ducts, Mr. Janik said.
"I cannot change doors because you change walls, you change electric, you have to change all construction," he said.
The changes would cost about $20,000, but Mr. Janik fears that if he gets a loan to cover the costs, the county will come back for even more.
"We cannot start anything before we first have something on paper, because they play games," he said. "When we finish they say uh-oh. No, no, no, no."
Mr. Ward said he would be happy to review the details of the revisions with Mr. Kogut and write a letter stating the required revisions.
Charles Karmosky, who owns the architectural firm representing Janik, said a letter would not preclude a county building inspector's asking for something else.
"I can guarantee you that if we did everything, that they'd come back," Mr. Karmosky said. Nothing would have changed, he said, "except someone's interpretations of the rules."
Mr. Karmosky said he thinks the county has tried to work with Mr. Janik but that they "still don't have a resolution with the county."
He said he or Mr. Kogut probably will be calling Mr. Ward next week to work on details about the house.