Waukesha condo raze order not yet in effect; residents must be served

The clock has yet to start ticking on a city of Waukesha order to raze an evacuated condo building within 120 days.

A city fire inspector signed the raze order on Jan. 3. Police evacuated the Horizon West on Dec. 2, 2021, after engineers ruled the building was in danger of collapse.

City of Waukesha Administrator Kevin Lahner tells Contact 6 that every unit owner must be served with the raze order before it goes into effect. The city must also publish the raze order.

"We would not be in a position to enforce the Raze Order until after the 120-day deadline in the Order has run for every person who must be served," Lahner wrote in an email.

Every person served will get 30 days to file a challenge in court. Lahner says he doubts the city will be in a position to publish the order for at least a couple of weeks.

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"Serving a Raze order on a condominium takes time," Lahner wrote. "We have to serve each individual unit owner the same way we would serve a defendant in a lawsuit, which requires diligent efforts to locate them and then several attempts to personally serve them before we can serve by publication."

Lahner says the city must also identify each mortgage holder and lienholder and follow a procedure for serving them, as well.

A meeting is planned between city officials and Horizon West condo association attorneys this week. Lahner says it will involve the City Attorney’s office, members of the Fire Department and possibly a building inspector.

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On Wednesday night, Feb, 23 at 10 p.m. on FOX6, Horizon West families share details of their mounting bills with Contact 6 reporter, Jenna Sachs. They also share why insurance providers are denying them coverage.


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