On October 23, the Town Board voted and approved a zone change for HNA from LO (Laboratory Office) to OP (Office Park). In December 2017, HNA received approval to add 100 hotel rooms to their Executive Training and Conference Center. The Planning Board clarified that HNA was not zoned for hotel use; rooms were only to be used by conference guests. In July 2018, HNA appeared before the Town Board, asking for a zone change to allow hotel use for outside guests.

At the September 4 and October 23 Town meetings, the Board listened to the dozens of community members who filled the room, speaking out against an OP zone change that could allow for over-development like the 21-story Blue Hill Plaza, which along with the Pearl River Hilton, is the only other OP zone in Orangetown. Most people were not against hotel use, considering that IBM started the practice towards the end of their ownership. But there was suspicion about the true motives of HNA, especially since international news was reporting that HNA was in the process of selling off billions of dollars worth of their businesses worldwide. Could this be the motivation for an OP zone change to make it a more desirable property to sell?

The final outcome was a result of the concerted efforts by the Palisades community, HNA and the Town of Orangetown. The Town, hearing our concerns, offered HNA the OP zone change, but with a strict Restrictive Covenant that limits the height of any future building to 50 feet (approximately the current height of five stories) and would not allow the addition of any shops or services, except for a sundry shop for hotel patrons. HNA agreed to these restrictions. The Restrictive Covenant is binding to HNA and all future successors, follows the land and is recorded in the Rockland County Clerks office. At the time of future sale, these restrictions will be clear to any interested purchaser. The bottom line is that we hope for HNA’s success with the continuation of the property's current use and that their success, coupled with this Restrictive Covenant, will give the community many decades of protection against over-development. We thank the community for coming out to voice their concerns. Your attendance made a difference. We thank the Town Board who took notice that this was a serious issue for Palisades, took careful consideration of the concerns that we raised and was a partner in creating a win-win outcome.