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New Jersey Legislation to Protect the Palisades Advances in Trenton

Mark Izeman

Posted June 9, 2014 in Saving Wildlife and Wild Places

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The battle to protect the Palisades officially moved to the New Jersey capital last week when the State’s Senate Environment and Energy Committee heard testimony regarding a bill that would limit development over 35 feet in the Hudson River Palisades viewshed.

Co-sponsored by State Senators Bob Smith -- the Chairman of the Committee -- and Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman, S.2025 was passed by the Committee in a 3-2 vote after several hours of testimony, both in favor and opposed.

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In addition to NRDC, several other groups in the Protect the Palisades coalition spoke about the irreparable harm LG Electronics’ planned 143-foot headquarters would do to this treasured American landmark and the need for permanent protections along the Palisades corridor. These groups included the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Scenic Hudson, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and the New Jersey Sierra Club.

The U.S. Green Building Council, which administers the highly coveted LEED green building designation, testified that there was no need for LG to construct a tall building to achieve LEED status and that the corporation should reconsider its plan. The Green Building Council did not take a position for or against the bill.

In my testimony on behalf of NRDC, I made three main points:

  • First, NRDC strongly supports this important legislation to safeguard one of the few remaining stretches of natural beauty in the nation’s densest metropolitan region.  
  • Second, in the fight to protect the Palisades, we do not need to make a choice between jobs and long-term park protection – we can have both.
  • And third, the Legislature has full authority to put in place new zoning and development protections to protect this state and national treasure, and to ensure that the state’s existing municipal land use law is being properly implemented.

Predictably,  LG -- via John Taylor, their VP of Public Affairs for North America, and one of the company’s lawyer's -- testified against the legislation. They trotted out many of the same arguments on why its Palisades-destroying design was good for the New Jersey economy, but sidestepped answering Senator Smith on why they wouldn’t take the opportunity to create the same number of jobs and office space with a low-rise design.

Senator Smith also posed some tough questions about how LG has responded to information requests from the Environment Committee over its design.

We commend Senator Smith and the Committee for advancing this important bill, and look forward to working with our New Jersey allies to enact it into law.

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Comments

Rita HutchinsJun 10 2014 05:54 PM

Thank you for ALL you are doing to help us fight LG. I am a long time resident of EC and would like our small town not to turn into a town with numerous high rises. Thank you again !

Christa Hildebrandt-LepireJun 11 2014 05:22 AM

The Palisades Matter ! They matter to me, they matter to NJ, they matter to nature and wildlife, and all the visitors who come to see the beautiful views watch hawks soar over the Hudson and do a little hiking. I grew up on these cliffs...my dad and I sipping hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks watching chunks of ice float down the Hudson breathing the cold crisp air or taking walks among the blooming honeysuckle in early Summer.
Stateline lookout. I'm so grateful for this preservation. My dad has since passed, but I continue to visit with my husband and our lil pup..
Breathing in the wide open, ingesting all the beauty and reliving the special times I had on "The Cliffs" with my dad :)

Steve VaskoJun 11 2014 08:37 PM

Please don't let LG destroy the Palisades. There is no reason to let this move forward. The jobs argument is completely absurd.

Mark IzemanJun 11 2014 10:04 PM

Thanks Rita, Christa and Steve for all your support and encouragement! Mark

Kathleen Mary SullivanJun 13 2014 05:17 PM

http://www.corp-research.org/LG

LGs' Corporate Rap Sheet

Comments are closed for this post.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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