Following the recent decision by Bergen County Superior Court to uphold LG Electronics’ plan to construct a 143 foot building headquarters by the Palisades in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, State Senator Jeff Klein, U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz joined representatives from the coalition group, Protect the Palisades, in calling for LG Electronics to lower the height of their planned construction.
A variance in the zoning law along the Palisades authorized LG Electronics to build above the 35 foot maximum height restriction. If constructed, the LG Electronics headquarters would pierce above the Palisades’ treeline, scarring an iconic landscape and setting a precedent for similar development.
Standing with the Palisades as a backdrop, the elected officials, community leaders and environmental leaders from both sides of the river underlined the importance of preserving the Palisades, urging LG Electronics to reconsider their design.
State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) said, “More than a hundred years ago New Yorkers and New Jerseyans came together to protect this land and now, here we are yet again, fighting to preserve this national treasure. This is not just about one company, or one building. Erecting a building that will tower above the treetops will set an irreversible course for the permanent destruction of the Palisades. If we allow one – many will follow. Today we stood together in defense of what is, in many ways, defenseless – the Palisades.”
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) said, “The Palisades are a timeless treasure that exists nowhere else in the world. It is unheard of for a large city like New York to have such a dramatic and beautiful view of nature. LG has to be a better corporate citizen and not desecrate this site with this building. There isn’t anything that can improve this view, and certainly not an office tower.”
“Before most New Yorkers even learn about LG’s plans for the Palisades, a beautiful natural amenity for Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, and a critical source of tourism could be lost forever,” said Senator Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights). “Local residents on both sides of Hudson are outraged by this proposal for the damage it will inflict, and the dangerous precedent it will set. When the Rockefeller family donated this land in 1933, this is the last thing they would have sanctioned. There’s too much at stake for New Yorkers to sit by while one of their last remaining natural views is permanently scarred.”
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Riverdale) said, "The unique view of the Palisades from the Bronx and Manhattan is an amazing natural wonder that must be protected. Its pristine beauty and picturesque scenery has been enjoyed by both New Yorkers and New Jerseyans for generations, but this new proposed LG development would change all of that.
“Just because this latest judge’s ruling sided with LG doesn’t mean building a 143-foot monstrosity on the Palisades is a good idea. Not only will it taint the majesty of this relatively untouched landscape, it will set a terrible precedent moving forward regarding development in the area. Make no mistake, if LG is allowed to thumb its nose at the height restrictions in place, as well as the will of the people, many other businesses will soon be looking for similar variances to build huge developments there. And if that were to happen we would lose something very special.
“Careless development that intrudes on the natural beauty of our area is unnecessary and unwelcome by both New York and New Jersey residents alike. LG needs to listen to the response their current plan is getting and reconsider their proposal.”
Hayley Carlock, Environmental Advocacy Attorney at Scenic Hudson, said, “Judge Carver’s decision is a setback not only for the citizens of New Jersey and New York, but for all Americans. Because of their unique geology and extraordinary natural beauty in an otherwise urban setting, the Palisades are both a National Historic Site and a National Natural Landmark. If this decision were to stand, it - and the bad precedent it would set - would lead to the destruction of this heritage by incompatible development. We resolve to continue our efforts to convince LG to redesign its building so it does not rise above the tree line. LG’s 27-acre site provides ample space for a lower-profile building that would supply the same jobs and tax benefits as the current design while respecting the integrity of the majestic Palisades.”
“Bronx Community Board 8 is proud to stand up for scenic beauty of the Palisades alongside congressmen Engel, State Senator Klein, Assemblyman Dinowitz, Manhattan Community Board 12 and countless others in New york and New Jersey who believe in the wisdom of intelligent development alongside this precious natural resource,” Community Board 8 Chairman Robert Fanuzzi said. “The construction of this corporate building at its present height will permanently scar a view enjoyed by millions and defy a precedent of respect for the environment established at the Palisades and upheld by every private developer in that area--until now.”