New York State lawmakers are pushing their New Jersey colleagues across the Hudson River to help preserve the view along the Palisades. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
The view along the Palisades is one of the most dramatic and breathtaking of any in New York City. The tall cliffs along the Hudson are the closest New York City residents can get to seeing mountains from their apartment windows.
New York lawmakers are now fighting to preserve that view.
"Well, this is a wonderful scenic view. It should be protected," said state Senator Adriano Espaillat of Manhattan. "It's a treasure, a national treasure."
Last year, LG Corporation proposed a new headquarters in Englewood Cliffs on the New Jersey side of the river. The proposed 134-foot tower was immediately challenged by environmentlists, and New York lawmakers wrote a legal brief in favor of that challenge.
In the end, LG agreed to reduce its tower to 70 feet, but New York lawmakers want those protections extended further, with no buildings higher than 35 feet.
"We signed a letter supporting a piece of legislation introduced in the New Jersey legislature by Senator Smith across the river that calls for to codify a permanent obstacle so that nothing will be built that will pierce the treelines," Espaillat said.
New Jersey has a bill that would change the zoning in the six New Jersey towns that border the Palisades, but its fate in the New Jersey legislature remains uncertain. The portions of the cliffs south of the bridge have already been touched by development.
"This is kind of what this looked like when Henry Hudson sailed up the river that now bears his name more than 400 years ago," said Elizabeth Lorris Ritter, a Washington Heights community activist. "This isn't just about one corporation or a few people. And we're really, really grateful to all the electeds on this side of the river who joined up with their partners in government on the other side of the river to say that this is an interstate resource that's precious to all of us, and we have to work together to preserve it."
Despite the joint jurisdiction, at this point, New York State must rely on New Jersey to pass statewide legislation to change the zoning over the Palisades. However, New York lawmakers plan on introducing a resolution in the New York State Senate that the hope to pass early next year.