SEVEN HILLS, Ohio — The city of Seven Hills, wedged between Parma and Independence, with a population of about 11,000, just purchased 20 acres of land with the plans to turn it into a nature preserve. The land was formerly home to an old radio tower. It sits just off of Rockside Road, adjacent to the city's North Park.
The acquisition was made possible, said Mayor Tony Biasiotta, thanks to a partnership with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy.
"Their expertise is going to be integral in prepping of the land, but ownership and maintenance will be solely Seven Hills going forward," said Biasiotta. "For decades to come residents and the greater community you're going to be able to enjoy nature preserve."
He called the purchase a win-win because that land was slated to be transformed into a housing development.
"This is very important to our residents because this property was earmarked by the owner for development of single-family homes," Biasiotta said. "It was a large number of homes, well over 50, that we're going to go into this neighborhood and the residents that border the property, on three sides, overwhelmingly were against seeing something of this magnitude built in their backyard."
He said plans for the land are still in the infancy stages, added that the timing of this purchase fits perfectly with the city's master plan for parks.
"Instead of having a bunch of city parks that have all the same equipment and same amenities, we are going to be recommending to the people of Seven Hills that it's treated more like a park system. So one park will have tennis another might have pickleball."
Biasiotta said these are moves they're making to push Seven Hills forward, catering to the younger population currently moving into their city.
"We need to be ready to meet the needs of the new generation as they arrive," he said.
The initial steps of cleaning up the property will begin soon. Plans call for the planting of about 50 trees, helping to restore the tree canopy.
Biasiotta said they plan to release more about the city's master plan for parks later this year.