Activists Win Battle Battle Over LG Tower At Hudson Palisades

New York Elected Officials Instrumental in Litigation Forcing LG Retreat on Proposal

State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Congressman Eliot Engel (D-Bronx/Westchester), Senator Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan/Bronx), Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx/Westchester) and Council Member Andrew Cohen (D-Bronx) praised the agreement announced today between LG Electronics USA, Inc. and a coalition of conservation and environmental groups from both sides of the Hudson River that will preserve views of the Hudson Palisades from a proposed corporate headquarters that would have towered over the natural and historic landmarks protected by the Palisades Interstate Compact.

 

“I spearheaded the fight to protect the beautiful vista of the Palisades, and today’s agreement with LG Electronics to reduce the height of its building is a victory in preserving this national treasure that would have towered over the treetops,” said Senator Jeff Klein.  “I led the way by filing an amicus brief in support of an appeal in New Jersey Appellate Court, fought side-by-side with environmental advocates and won the battle against LG’s plan to forever ruin the verdant bluffs that we enjoy so much. My years-long battle paid off for the residents of The Bronx, and especially for our environment.”

 

“The proposed LG Tower had the potential to stain a national treasure—the Palisades—which look virtually the same as they did when man first laid eyes on them. This compromise is a tremendous victory not only for The Bronx, but for New York, New Jersey and nature lovers everywhere. A smaller LG Tower, one shorter than 70 feet, will preserve these views and protect the Palisades from blight. I congratulate those elected officials, activists and community organizations on both sides of the river who fought so hard for this change, and I commend LG for listening to our concerns and agreeing to a reasonable compromise,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

 

The agreement resolves litigation that has been pending for over a year in New Jersey, with a coalition of individuals and advocacy groups seeking to void LG’s approval to build a 143-foot-high corporate headquarters Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.  Under the agreement, which is subject to court and local approval, the building will be approximately 69-feet, and will not pierce the treeline.

 

“I am pleased that LG, Scenic Hudson, NRDC and others were able to reach an agreement that benefits the economic and environmental interests of the people of the Bronx, Westchester, and all of New York and New Jersey,”  said Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the United States House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee.  “We filed our amicus brief to protect the otherwise undisturbed Palisades tree line on the Hudson River, which has gone untouched for centuries.  Today’s agreement preserves that historic vista while simultaneously allowing LG to bring more high-quality jobs to our region.”

 

Klein joined Congressman Eliot Engel; New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat; New York Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz; and New York City Councilman Andrew Cohen, in filing amici curiae briefs on April 7, 2014, urged New Jersey’s Superior Court, Appellate Division to invalidate LG’s variance to exceed the traditional 35-foot height limit in towns surrounding the Park by more than fourfold.  In their brief, elected officials argued that the variance allowed “one municipal board to defeat over a century of collaborative work and investment by New York and New Jersey citizens, legislators, and courts, as well as by the federal government, to preserve the historic Hudson River Palisades north of the George Washington Bridge.”

 

“The view of the Palisades from upper Manhattan is an awe inspiring sight and has remained largely unspoiled since Henry Hudson’s voyage more than 400 years ago. A determined coalition of local environmental groups and elected officials were able to protect that view for what I hope will be the next 400 years,” said State Senator Adriano Espaillat.

 

“The incredible natural beauty of the Palisades is an amazing resource that must not be spoiled. It took eons and eons to form and we have a responsibility to protect it,” said Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz. “That is why this victory is so important. The elected officials, environmentalists, and other worked hard to protect the Palisades, so this decision by LG is very welcome to us.”

 

“The Palisades is a natural beauty, the view of which has been preserved and conserved for the benefit of New York and New Jersey. I am pleased that today’s agreement removes the immediate threat of the Palisades viewshed so that residents in both states can continue to enjoy the historic landscape,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen. “I plan on continuing to work vigilantly with my colleagues and advocates to fight for permanent protection of the Palisades from similar proposals in the future.”

 

Ned Sullivan, president of conservation group Scenic Hudson said, “The unanimous support of Senators Klein and Espaillat, and other local elected officials, was critical in protecting the views that their Bronx constituents have enjoyed for centuries.”

 

In June 2013, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and then-Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer co-authored a letter to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urging his intervention on the issue of the LG Tower.

 

All five elected officials were represented in the litigation against LG and in shaping the settlement agreement announced today by Bradley M. Campbell, a nationally known environmental leader and the President-designate of the Conservation Law Foundation.