After 200 Danburians protest, NY moving company withdraws plans for 4.5-acre warehouse on west side

DANBURY — A New York-based moving company that’s come under heavy criticism from west side residents over its plans to build 4.5-acre warehouse near The Summit development has withdrawn its application.

What the dropped application by Clancy Relocation and Logistics means for its proposal to build a 196,000-square-foot warehouse on 29 acres off Saw Mill Road was not clear on Tuesday, except that it represented breathing room for a vocal group of residents who joined together in protest.

“This is a win for us in the short term,” said Liana Henderson-Semel Linaldi, a west side resident, who is among the scores of Danburians who have signed petitions and criticized city leaders over Clancy’s proposal. “I know Clancy can reapply, and this may be a temporary breather, so we are still raising money to pay lawyers’ fees and all of that.”

Clancy told the city that it was withdrawing its application one day after 200 residents crowded into the lobby of The Summit and shouted at Mayor Dean Esposito and other city leaders as they tried to answer questions about the warehouse plans.

At the point Clancy withdrew its application, it was awaiting administrative approval from the city’s Planning and Zoning Department after getting the green light from the city’s Environmental Impact Commission — a public process that neighbors said happened without them knowing about it.

Clancy’s next step was not immediately clear on Tuesday. Owner John Clancy was out of the office and could not be reached for comment.

His attorney, Tom Beecher, responded with a one-word answer when asked if Clancy intended to resubmit its application.

“Yes,” Beecher responded.

Esposito and the city’s top planner, Sharon Calitro, did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday about Clancy’s warehouse plans.

Paul Rotello, the City Council’s Democratic minority leader, said, “We will have to see.”

“It is not uncommon for an applicant to withdraw an application if it needs some fine tuning,” Rotello said.

Clancy’s dropped application in the face of rising public opposition follows a mid-summer victory for a vocal group of organized residents in Newtown, whose opposition to an 8-acre trucking warehouse on environmentally sensitive land south of Interstate 84 lead to a split-decision rejection of the proposal by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

In Danbury, the organized resistance to Clancy’s proposal is “optimistic,” Henderson-Semel Linaldi said.

“Our ultimate goal is to get that property rezoned to make sure that whatever does get built there, it makes sense,” Henderson-Semel Linaldi said. “We support local business and the work local government is doing, but we don’t think our backyard is an appropriate place for this warehouse.”

Reach Rob Ryser at rryser@newstimes.com or 203-731-3342