River Walk developer to request variances for condos and homes

By Barbara Christian
May 21, 2014

CHAGRIN FALLS -- River Walk developer Robert Vitt wants to build two condominiums and a single family home that are higher than current standards.

He will request variances for the condos at 44 W. Orange St. and the house at 47 W. Cottage St., during the board of appeals meeting 8 p.m. May 27.

The West Orange Street variances are against the 35-foot-height limit. Mr. Vitt is proposing a building height of 46 feet. He is also asking for 60 percent front yard driveway coverage which exceeds the 25 percent limit.

The variance application states the appeal is a reinstatement of similar variances granted for the property last year but which have now expired.

The two family structure is the second and final phase of the River Walk four building, eight unit condominium development set along the hillside separating West Orange Street below and West Cottage Street above.

Three two-unit buildings have been completed east of the proposed new structure built by Mr. Vitt and his Silver Leaf development company.

Still unresolved is the type and location of a retaining wall to the west of this final building; the village and surrounding neighbors have insisted the wall be built before construction on the residences begins.

That demand grew out of a situation at the West Cottage Street address, now a vacant lot, where Mr. Vitt plans to build the new home.

It replaces the home the village ordered demolished in 2011 after its foundation and walls began to crack into wide fissures.

Then property owners David and Terry Mitchell maintained that the damage was caused when the hillside below their home was cleared and left unstable for months before the first phase of River Walk construction began.

The couple sought relief in 2011 when they sued Mr. Vitt and Silver Leaf in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

The issue was settled out of court in 2012 when the developer agreed to pay a cash settlement and acquire the Mitchell property.

Mr. Vitt has said the settlement was not an admission of any wrong doing by him or Silver Leaf, but agreed to terms at the insistence of his insurance carrier.

Shortly after the Mitchell’s lawsuit was settled, the owners of three adjacent properties – Donald and Valerie Bertsch, James and Patricia Weingart and Erin Manley -- filed a second suit against Mr. Vitt citing their properties have been compromised as result of inadequate hillside retention.

That suit has been on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court docket since August 2012 with a new pre-trial hearing set for July 2.

"River Walk developer to request variances for condos and homes". Chagrin Valley Times. Retrieved December 28, 2019.

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