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Six Bergen County Mayors Join to Oppose LG Plan
Source:New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Letter Urges LG to Modify Headquarters Design
In a sign of the widespread and growing opposition to LG Electronics’ plan to build new headquarters high above the Palisades tree line in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, the mayors of six New Jersey towns near the LG site have written a joint letter urging the company to “act responsibly” by modifying the project. The towns are Alpine, Closter, Demarest, Harrington Park, Rockleigh, and Tenafly. The letter, addressed to both the chairman of the LG Group in Seoul, South Korea, and the CEO of LG Electronics USA in Englewood Cliffs, powerfully refutes LG's endlessly repeated and baseless "spin" that opposition is coming only from a supposed handful of New Yorkers.
“As more and more people in New Jersey find out about what this 143-foot-tall building will do to the Palisades, they will be outraged. New Jersey and New York have collaborated for more than a century to insure the grandeur of the cliffs, together setting an example of regional scenic preservation for the nation,” said Alpine Mayor Paul Tomasko. “The two states collaborated to save the Palisades from obliteration by quarrying more than a century ago,” he commented. “Now it’s our turn to save this legacy from obliteration by development. This can be done without any loss of jobs or square footage for office space if LG will opt for a low-rise, horizontal structure that respects the Palisades tree line, just as all the other corporate headquarters north of the George Washington Bridge do.” The Protect the Palisades coalition (www.protectthepalisades.org), now comprising some 35 New Jersey and New York organizations and thousands of individuals, was formed in 2012 in a bi-state effort to convince LG to build horizontally rather than vertically.
In their letter, the six mayors write “We are sure that on the 27 acre site there is room for a beautiful and distinctive LG corporate headquarters” without building above the tree line. They predict that if LG doesn’t build “in a sustainable and socially responsible way . . . lasting damage will be done to LG’s reputation and business prospects by a building that for generations would represent fundamental disregard by LG of this natural and historic American landmark.”
Litigation brought by several individual New Jerseyans and civic, environmental, and outdoor recreation groups over the zoning changes that made possible approval of LG’s plan to build four times higher than the traditional 35-foot height limit is ongoing. Four former New Jersey governors, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Park Service, the editorial pages of major New Jersey and New York newspapers, the World Monument Fund, cultural institutions, elected officials, and members of the public have expressed their opposition to the project as currently designed.