NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is a new twist in the fight against a proposed Englewood Cliffs building that opponents say will ruin the view of the Palisades — and may lead to more development.
A New Jersey lawmaker recently introduced a bill that threatens the project altogether, CBS 2’s Don Champion reported.
Demolition where the American headquarters of LG is set to go up was underway Tuesday, but a proposed bill could change that.
“It’s just going to destroy this whole area,” N.J. State Sen. Bob Smith said.
Smith, who chairs the Environment and Energy Committee, is a sponsor of the bi-partisan bill to protect iconic views of the Palisades. The bill would ban buildings higher than 35 feet within about a half-mile area of the cliffs – the exact area where LG’s building is set to stand 143 feet.
“One of the purposes of this bill is to say to LG, please reconsider what you’re doing. There’s a better way to do it. You don’t have to destroy a U.S. national treasure,” Smith said.
In a first of its kind move for the area, the building seen in renderings got approval from the borough of Englewood Cliffs in 2012, but as it’s written now, the bill would retroactively ban LG’s building.
The bill was intriduced as opponents released a new Internet attack ad. LG even countered with “fact and fiction” ads in local papers.
Over the phone, a spokesperson said the company willingly tried negotiating the building size in the past with no luck and questioned if negotiations were still possible.
“New Jersey needs the jobs now. To redesign the building would delay the project by a number of years and reopen the entire approval process again, and this project is going to create over 2,200 much-needed construction jobs in the short term,” the spokesperson said.
Admirers of the Palisades said they hope a compromise is possible.
“Look around here, they call it upstate New York City, so this is the beginning of the end if we allow this to happen,” one woman said.
With the bill introduced, it could go up for a committee vote on May 19. If the project continues, actual construction of the building could start by the end of the year, Champion reported.
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