Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lg's Choice

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lg's Choice

Article excerpt

THE PALISADES, with its majesty of untouched nature in the middle of a densely populated area, is a source of pride. Millions of people - not just New Jerseyans -- have enjoyed this treasure because of the commitment made by prior generations to protect the Palisades from rampant development. The cliffs have been saved, but a portion of the pristine view is in danger.

LG Electronics plans to construct a 143-foot-high headquarters on land above the Palisades. The building will rise above the tree line, altering the views. The Borough of Englewood Cliffs granted a variance to LG allowing the company to build above the previous 35- foot height limit. The borough also rezoned additional land, creating an opportunity for future structures to rise above the tree line.

Several borough residents have sued to block LG's efforts; however, they appear to face an uphill battle in court. Mediation efforts between environmental groups and LG broke down.

LG properly filed and received permission for its building. The lasting impact on the view of the Palisades, though, will not be for the better. We ask LG to reconsider its decision.

Time and money for new plans and approvals, no doubt, are issues affecting the North America unit's profitability. However, we hope the calculus of LG - a corporation whose slogan is "Life's Good" -- can prove that being a good resident and neighbor is simply better business in the long run.

Rather than building a tall structure with extraordinary views of New York City for some of its employees and that acts as a visible flagship near the busiest bridge in the world, LG instead can and should build goodwill with Bergen County residents by improving, not changing, the landscape.

But there is more to this story than the literal stories of the proposed LG headquarters.

The Borough of Englewood Cliffs is clearly willing to accept high- rise development. Jobs and tax revenue are legitimate benefits. The borough might have received these benefits by simply requiring LG to make a lower but wider building. But LG wants a tall building and there could have been other suitors. Municipalities south of the George Washington Bridge, especially Fort Lee with two new towers going up right next to the bridge, might meet LG's needs. …

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