Legislators support displaced Marlborough condo owners
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Nearly a year after 32 units at Lake Williams Condominiums were destroyed in a six-alarm fire April 23, 2012, condo owners revisited the site April 5 to speak with the press. They shared their personal feelings about Building Commissioner Michael Mendoza’s recent rejection of a proposal from the condominium trust to rebuild the structure. Joining them were state Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough, and representatives from the offices of state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton, and U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, 3rd District.
The trust appealed Mendoza’s decision. Condo owners, still paying mortgages, were preparing to appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday, April 9.
Gregoire felt compelled to visit the displaced residents.
“I’m showing my support for the working families who just want to rebuild their home, and come back to the city that they love,” she said. “As a state legislator, there’s not a lot I can do procedurally to help them, but I want to be here to show my support.”
Mendoza concluded there were two buildings on the property.
A press release from the Lake Williams Condominiums Association stated: “[T]he property was intentionally permitted, built, and functioned as one building within the boundaries of the zoning ordinance at the time it was built .”
Kelly Hilcoff spoke on behalf of the displaced condo owners.
“Families are now paying to finance two locations,” she said. “We’re covering the cost of the place where we’re currently living because the one that we previously called home is the concrete slab that we’re standing on. We were confident that we’d restore our home in a timely manner. Unfortunately, we’ve been hit by red tape and zoning issues that have slowed our progress to a halt.”
The trust hired attorney Sandra Austin.
“I think the building commissioner misinterpreted the law,” Austin said.
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.
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