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Vernon Hills vs. Mellody Farm

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When I was driving down Townline Road one day, I saw a red sign that read: “Mellody Farm, coming soon.” My initial thought was genuinely, finally we are adding a farm to Vernon Hills instead of developing another corporate plaza. Yet, when I did some research and found out that Mellody “Farm” was actually going to be yet another mall, I was horrified.

Vernon Hills is already a town dedicated to concealing any green spots it has left with shops and corporate buildings, and with this sweep of industrialization in a little suburb, there will be no culture or environment preservation left whatsoever.

Mellody Farm is set to be a high end outdoor mall comprised of a Whole Foods, restaurants, and shops.

Accordings to its Facebook description, “A long awaited retail development where inspired sensibilities and everyday desires converge. Located on nearly 33 acres at the Northeast corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Townline Road, Mellody Farm will be a true destination. The shopping experience will offer a leading organic grocer, destination restaurants, and some of the area’s most adored shops and businesses.”

My negative attitude towards Mellody Farms stems from how Vernon Hills is putting its energy into becoming a money-making corporate town. It used to be a close-knit community with a balance of shops and plenty of nature. First of all, one of the biggest attractions coming to this mall is Whole Foods. This is  completely ridiculous considering that there is a Trader Joe’s less than a mile down the street and two Whole Foods locations 20 minutes away. That aside, there is absolutely no lack of grocery shopping in this area with the abundance of stores like Target, Mariano’s, Garden Fresh Market, Jewel Osco, Costco, Sam’s Club, and the list goes on.

Other than just Whole Foods, there will be dining and shopping options available. In spite of this, Vernon Hills alone is comprised of restaurants, stores, and plazas on every street.   Building a another  mall reflects the hyper-consumerism in our area.

This outdoor mall is being built right across the Hawthorn mall, which was already expanded two years ago. If Mellody Farm was being built in a location that was not already surrounded by a variety of shops and restaurants, let alone an actual mall, I would not be so against the idea. Yet, with this new retail center being built right across an already fully-functioning mall, Vernon Hills will lose its character; there will be a lack of environmental preservation to build more of what we already have.There needs to be a balance between buildings and green areas, especially in a small town where too many retail centers will be overwhelming.

The future location of Mellody Farm,  Milwaukee Road and Townline Road, already has a substantial amount of traffic. Those roads lead to most of the main plazas and shops in Vernon Hills, and another mall on this corner would just increase traffic congestion, thus making it more difficult to get anywhere in Vernon Hills.

Dreading to see what this does to my work commute. Wish they would have left this area alone for many reasons. I don’t think Vernon hills needs another mall,” said one Vernon Hills resident on Facebook.

Aside from traffic or redundancy of retail building, attention needs to be fostered towards the nature and wildlife that is being lost itself. Flourishing environmental locations around the world have already fallen prey to the effects of human interference and have left a plethora of natural benefits harmed and Earth’s balance disturbed; these locations include the Amazon Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.

Vernon Hills, being a small community, has so much more control over what happens to its land, so ultimately destruction as massive as the destruction done to the Amazon Rainforest shouldn’t happen. Consequently, it needs to use this control to contribute more to the environment and prevent disturbing the wildlife that lives there rather than tear habitats apart for unnecessary construction.

Long awaited…? By whom, exactly? Certainly not the deer, coyotes, geese, etc who call that area home. And certainly not by the humans (myself included) convinced we already have PLENTY of superfluous, pretentious, completely unnecessary retail shops and crappy, overpriced restaurants in town. No thanks,”said another Vernon Hills resident on Facebook.

Ultimately, Vernon Hills is essentially destroying another prairie to make room for more construction amidst all the business already standing. Instead of an unnecessary mall, this green space can and should be used for town events, the planting of more trees, or periodic farmers markets. All of these services will be beneficial for the town and will provide a good balance of shops and maintaining the environment.

It is surprising that there is an insufficient amount of residents that don’t know what Mellody Farms is. Ultimately, Vernon Hills mustn’t support such a construction project that will destroy the integrity of the town. Although some people see benefits to more outlets to consumerism, more construction is harmful and does more bad than good.

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Vernon Hills vs. Mellody Farm