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Local engineer Katy Gagnon and Cornell Scott Director of Purchasing & Facility Development Shawn Galligan.

Cornell Scott Hill Health Center plans to build a new 52-bed substance abuse treatment center on Cedar Street to replace its current 40-bed offerings on Grant Street.

The local community health center‘s director of purchasing and facility development, Shawn Galligan, announced the coming moves Tuesday night during the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) at 200 Orange St.

He said that Cornell Scott plans to build a new 52-bed inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment center atop a surface parking lot at 232-236 Cedar St. That parcel also already houses Cornell Scott’s South Central Rehabilitation Center at the corner of Minor Street, he said, as well as a vacant Cornell Scott-owned building at the corner of Howard Avenue.

Tuesday night’s Board of Zoning Appeals meeting.

Galligan said the proposed building would be the new home to the behavioral health, mental health, and substance abuse therapeutic services currently offered out of a city-owned building at 60-62 Grant St.

The new Cedar Street building would provide both inpatient and outpatient services and would have a total of 52 in-patient beds: 40 for men and 12 for women. The Grant Street site has only 40 beds, all reserved for men.

He touted the project as helping build out a “comprehensive campus” for Cornell Scott on Cedar Street, and as taking place on properties already owned by the center. He said he does not know the city’s plans for 62 Grant St. after Cornell Scott relocates to Cedar.

“We believe that this is going to be a great benefit to our patients,” he said, “and to all residents of New Haven suffering from the opioid crisis and from other substance abuse.”

The board referred to the City Plan Commission the center’s zoning relief application, for a special exception to allow for a distance of 1,000 feet for off-site parking spaces 300 feet is currently permitted by zoning law. The board will vote on the matter next month.

Gagnon walks through the parking layout.

Langan Senior Project Manager Katy Gagnon, the engineer on the project, explained that, per zoning law, the health center needs 67 on-site parking spaces for the Cedar Street parcel. After the construction of the proposed new treatment center, it will have only 34.

But if the board approves for the special exception to extend maximum allowable distance for on-site parking spaces from 300 feet to 1,000 feet, she said, Cornell Scott’s current surface parking lot at 3 Arch St. would become eligible. Counting in those Arch Street parking spots, she said, would bring the parcel’s on-site parking up to 142.

The new proposed site is a five-minute walk from four different bus routes and a bike share station, she said.

“We believe that the proposed use is consistent with other uses in the area and will function in conjunction with the other Cornell Scott building on the site and is in line New Haven’s Comprehensive Plan,” she said. “We’re proposing an increased building density and sharing underutilized parking to eliminate the need to construct a new parking lot.”

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