Developing Millikin land would be a tragic loss
Imagine a mile-long wooded corridor giving life to an urban landscape.
Imagine destroying that natural area in order to build a few more houses in a city where vacant lots and vacant houses abound. Once destroyed it will never come back. Then, where will the children go to learn to love nature?
Imagine saving this small piece of nature for yourselves, your children, your community.
Around the perimeter of Severance Town Center, there is a mile-long wooded buffer stretching east from South Taylor Road to Severance Millikin school, and then north to Mayfield Road. The core of this buffer is the 11-acre school campus, with acres of wooded land. I call this wooded land the Severance Woods.
This is not vacant land. This is a gem we should cherish and preserve. If this were a public park, no one would dare suggest destroying a thousand trees to make room for more housing. No matter your age, many of these trees were old when you were young.
The city of Cleveland Heights wants to buy this land from the Cleveland Heights - University Heights City School District, and then sell it to a private developer so that these woods can be destroyed so that a few more houses can be built.
In a world threatened by global warming, where people are desperately trying to restore nature, why would we allow this wooded area to be destroyed?
There is no shortage of vacant land in need of redevelopment. Severance Town Center is a vast opportunity for redevelopment. All over Cleveland Heights there are vacant lots and houses in need of redevelopment. There is no need to destroy the Severance Woods to find room for more housing.
Some people say the schools need more revenue from this land. But seriously, it is not reasonable to think that taxing a few houses in this small area would make any significant contribution to the vast financial problems our city and schools face.
We, the people of the Cleveland Heights–University Heights school district, are the real owners of this land. It belongs to us. It belongs to our children. It belongs to the future of our community.
Cleveland Heights is at risk of losing this gem. Please speak up and let people know what a tragic loss this would be.
Michael Morse is a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights.