GZA was retained by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) to prepare an Environmental Impact Evaluation (EIE) for implementation of the Seaside State Park Master Plan. The 32-acre site, occupied by a long-abandoned, historically-significant former State Tuberculosis Hospital, had been declared surplus property in the late 1990s and incorporated into the CT State Parks and Forest system in 2015.
GZA evaluated four alternative development scenarios for the park. Two options involved a public-private partnership in which a developer would renovate the buildings for lodging and the State would develop and manage the remaining land as a public park; the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. The other two alternatives, involving building demolition, ecological restoration/enhancement, and passive/active recreational uses, would result in public park land controlled completely by the State.
GZA also conducted two-dimensional coastal modeling to determine the feasibility of proposed shoreline features and the flooding and erosional impacts of removing or modifying the existing seawall.
The biological and cultural resource assessments conducted for the EIE included a floristic survey, coastal habitat characterization, coastal flood hazard modeling, rare species survey, economic feasibility and impacts, and land use changes/intensity, with all the information overlain in GIS for each of the development alternatives. GZA prepared and presented information at two public meetings to a community reviewing the project with great scrutiny.
GZA’s multi-level analysis comprised in-house and subconsultant expertise to address the wide breadth of ecological, economic, land use, and historical issues associated with each proposed alternative for this high-profile project. The State is moving forward with the most beneficial hybrid park/resort hotel alternative.