Amusement rides proposed for Cocoa Beach Pier discussed at City Hall

Residents living next to pier voice opposition

COCOA BEACH, Fla. – Dozens of Cocoa Beach citizens went to City Hall Wednesday night during the city's Board of Adjustment meeting, which discussed a proposal from Westgate Resorts to add three family-style amusement rides to the Cocoa Beach Pier.

One resident who told News 6 he was attending said the city doesn't need carnival rides at the pier.

"Is this necessary for Cocoa Beach? I mean, who benefits?" asked Terry Zittle, who said those benefiting would not be people like himself who live next to the pier.

Zittle's condo adjacent to the pier is just 100 feet from where Westgate Resorts wants to place a merry-go-round, a 29-foot Twist and Drop and a spinning Tornado ride.

[RELATED: Cocoa Beach Pier proposing amusement rides as attraction]

Zittle said traffic is already bad at the pier on weekends. Add the rides and it will be worse he told News 6. There's also carnival ride noise he said the attractions would bring.

"I just don't know if I want to hear it every day," Zittle said.

The pier's owner, billionaire Orlando timeshare tycoon and Westgate Resorts founder David Siegel, said adding rides is part of his grand plan to make the pier a "world-class resort."

In a statement released to News 6 Wednesday Siegel said in-part, "The few small attractions we are adding will be consistent with this level of quality and will improve the experience for tourists and residents alike."

Zittle said the rides are a threat to the "Old Florida" ambience that attracted him to move to Cocoa Beach.

"That's what we like about the place, but it's slowly sliding away," he said. "It's a little disheartening. I don't think the guy needs another penny," Zittle said of Siegel.

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