NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A state appeals court on Wednesday rejected a town’s zoning decision that would have allowed a company to build a 143-foot tower overlooking the Hudson River.
The ruling was the latest chapter in a three-year battle over LG Electronics’ plan to build its North American headquarters atop the Palisades Cliffs about a mile north of the George Washington Bridge.READ MORE: Police: Suspect Attacks Man In Hell's Kitchen, Steals Wallet
The zoning board of Englewood Cliffs in 2012 approved a plan for the company to construct the building in a business zone where the maximum allowable height is 35 feet. That decision was flawed, according to Wednesday’s ruling, because it didn’t take into account the effect on the overall area beyond the town.
The building “will undoubtedly have a visual effect on the area, especially because of the placement of the building in close proximity to the Palisades Cliffs, a historic, renowned natural and dramatic geological feature on the west side of the Hudson River,” the three-judge panel wrote. “A zoning board must consider more than just the effect of the decision on its own municipality, it must take into account the entire region.”
Numerous groups and organizations joined the lawsuit against the tower, including conservation groups on both sides of the Hudson River and several New York state lawmakers.READ MORE: Suspect Arrested In Christmas Eve Lamborghini Crash That Killed Queens Woman
“This is a victory for preservation of the Palisades,” New Jersey Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel said. “We believe that this tower was the wrong tower, in the wrong place, at the wrong height, and we are glad the court agreed. It shows you can’t just stick an ugly tower next to a park and get away with it.”
LG officials argued the $300 million, energy-efficient project would have blended into its surroundings and boost the economy.
In June, LG agreed to reduce the height of the main tower to about 70 feet. In Wednesday’s ruling, the court held that LG can seek another height variance if it wants to build above the 35-foot height restriction.
The ruling “paves the way for LG Electronics to proceed with the LG North American Headquarters building project in Englewood Cliffs,” company spokesman John Taylor said in an email. “LG will proceed with the town in alignment with the win-win settlement agreement reached in June with the conservation groups that intervened in this case.”MORE NEWS: Thurgood Marshall Human Rights Monument Unveiled In Rockland County
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