Valor Acres developer to build home, preserve historic Wiese Road property
by Dan Holland
The developer of the Valor Acres mixed-use district at Miller and Brecksville roads is building a new family home while preserving a smaller, historic home on a wooded 10.4-acre property located on the west side of Wiese Road near Cherokee Lane in Brecksville.
Kevin DiGeronimo, principal at DiGeronimo Development of Independence, received approval from the city’s planning commission on March 23 to split the parcel into two lots: a 9.6-acre lot to build the new home and a .78-acre lot to maintain a 744 square-foot cottage-style home built in 1935. The lot split was necessary as only one home can occupy each residential lot per city code.
A number of variances were also approved by the board of zoning appeals April 10. Those variances addressed to lot shape, lot frontage and sidewalks. Variances approved for the smaller historic home included front yard setback, lot size, width and depth and the lack of a garage.
DiGeronimo, who lives on Ashlawn Drive in Brecksville, told commission members he bought the land in 2020, which was approved for a previous lot split for two homes to be built with a common driveway. One home belonging to relatives has already been built, he said, while his new home is currently under construction.
During a Feb. 9 work session, DiGeronimo told the planning commission that he had originally planned to demolish the smaller home, but decided during the COVID-19 pandemic to begin restoring the home and use it to homeschool his children, as he discovered the home to be in better condition than previously thought. He added that the dwelling may be used as a guest house or serve some other family function.
Mayor Jerry Hruby spoke of the history of the family that previously operated a farm on the site many years ago.
“At one point, they farmed out trees, and there was farmland across the street with a big farmhouse just a little bit down from there,” he explained. “So, it does have somewhat of a historical significance to the town.”
DiGeronimo said neighbors had also shared the history of the home with him and requested that it not be demolished. He added that he has no plans to sell or rent out the smaller home, which he said is “a unique part of the history of the area.”
Commission members concurred that if DiGeronimo ever decided to sell the smaller home and lot, he would be required to either raze the house or add a garage.
“The planning commission and board of zoning appeals recognized the fact that the DiGeronimo plan to preserve the old house in their property was a positive thing in saving this historic cottage and agreed that they not be required to build a garage on the property,” said Hruby in an email to Brecksville Magazine. “The cottage will not be used for rental but for their personal use, storage and for the use of their children. The family has made a major investment by building the two homes and retaining the cottage, and we look forward to seeing the final construction and landscaped properties.” ∞