MARLBOROUGH (CBS) – Owners of condominiums that were destroyed by fire are ready to rebuild, but the city won’t let them. Their frustration is growing because they are still paying their mortgages and condo fees on their homes that don’t exist.
The saga began in April 2012 when the Lake Williams condos on Route 20 were destroyed in a six-alarm fire.
“It’s sad, we have a lot of memories here,” says Kelly Hilcoff. “Those of us, who are living this every day, just can’t fathom why city officials are not behind us.”
Since most of the structure burned, the new replacement must meet current building and zoning codes and a replica can’t be built on the same footprint.
“It’s not up to me to compromise,” said Mayor Arthur Vigeant. “It’s a determination made by the building commissioner.”
Residents argue that their building was actually connected to adjacent condos that were not as badly damaged so they should be eligible to be rebuilt on the very the same spot.
“I have property here, so do 31 other people, let’s do the right thing,” says Hilcoff.
The mayor contends that he has been trying to do that, offering residents free site planning and legal counseling to explore alternatives. He has also gotten them off the hook for their property taxes.
State lawmakers will tour the site on Friday and residents will take their case to the zoning board of appeals on Tuesday.