Green Development on Highway 30 East

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20 January 2020

Wil Matthews
Manager, MFM Development, LLC

Dear Mr. Matthews,

We are a group of neighbors, citizens, scientists, and conservationists writing to express our concerns in regards to the future development of approximately 20 acres of commercial property on the North side of Highway 30 East. Our primary concerns are listed below:

  1. There are many large trees on this property that we hope will not be cut down. Trees provide benefits and add value to developments by improving water, soil, and air quality, providing shade and decreasing temperatures in the summer, enriching peoples’ lives, and beautifying properties. Large, old trees are essential because young trees cannot provide the same ecosystem services to humans that old trees can provide. Agreeing to plant young trees to replace those cut does not replace the loss of the trees that were cut. Large upland oaks such as post oak and southern red oak, in particular, are ecologically irreplaceable and are not readily, if at all, available in local nurseries.
  2. Mature trees are a huge economic boon, as well, and benefit developers as well as local businesses. According to A Guide to Preserving Trees in Development Projects, published by Penn State:
    "A study of the 4,800 parcels surrounding an 8,300-acre nature reserve in the rapidly growing oak woodlands in Riverside County, California, determined that a decrease of 10 percent in the distance to the nearest stand of oak trees resulted in an increase of $4 million in total home value and an increase of $16 million in total land value in the community. In short, the proximity of healthy, beautiful trees directly affects property value. Good tree cover increased property prices by about 7 percent in residential areas and 18 percent for building lots. Quality landscapes with healthy trees can increase retail spending from 9 to 12 percent. Tree-filled office properties can expect 7 percent higher rents than those without trees or quality landscaping."
  3. This development presents an opportunity to build something unique and wonderful for the Oxford community. We would love to see your design incorporate solar panels, green energy, bird-friendly glass, trees growing through buildings, and/or a large park with mature trees in the middle.  We urge the developers to do the right thing and take a bold step forward in environment-friendly design, one that will encourage others to follow suit and help build a sustainable future for northern Mississippi. 

Respectfully yours, the undersigned: