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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Council pushes LG to protect Palisades

By Shant Shahrigian
Posted
Masao Katagami/The Riverdale Press
Councilman Andrew Cohen announces a resolution aimed at blocking LG Electronics USA’s plans for a new headquarters on the Palisades. Resolution co-author Councilman Mark Levine is at left and Community Board 8 Chairman Robert Fanuzzi is at right.

A new city council resolution is calling on Englewood Cliffs, N.J. to reverse a decision permitting LG Electronics USA to build an eight-story headquarters that critics in Riverdale and elsewhere say will ruin views of the Palisades and pave the way for other large buildings to go up along the scenic cliffs.

Along with asking Englewood Cliffs to withdraw a zoning variance permitting the 143-foot headquarters to go up, the legislation, introduced May 29, asks LG to voluntarily redesign the building so it meets the area’s zoning standards. Those standards currently limit the height of buildings there to 35 feet.

“This vista has survived since the glaciers receded in the last ice age,” Councilman Andrew Cohen, who co-authored the resolution, said during a press conference at part of the College of Mount Saint Vincent overlooking the Palisades.

“I think it would be tragic if under our stewardship… the beautiful Palisades were marred by a tower by LG,” he added.

An LG spokesman rejected the resolution in a phone interview.

“With all due respect to New Yorkers, this is a New Jersey issue,” said John Taylor, vice president of communications for LG in the U.S. “We’re not feeling any additional pressure. We have our business pressure to move ahead to take occupancy in 2017, 2018.”

The resolution — also authored by Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez of Upper Manhattan and Marble Hill and Mark Levine of Manhattan — was the latest in a series of legislative efforts aimed at blocking LG’s plans. Last month, two New Jersey state senators proposed a bill that would prohibit new buildings over 35 feet tall to go up within 2,000 feet of the Hudson River’s shore and from Fort Lee, N.J. through Englewood Cliffs. In New York, the state assembly passed a resolution urging New Jersey to block LG’s plans.

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