COCOA BEACH, Fla. – Cocoa Beach commissioners on Thursday allowed Westgate Resorts to move forward with its plans to build a six-story resort at Cocoa Beach Pier.
Leaders voted 4-1 to allow the developer to build above the maximum permitted building height of 45 feet, paving the way for the resort and parking garage off Meade Avenue.
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This comes about four months after the city approved an ordinance to allow Westgate to purchase that nearby stretch of Meade Avenue, taking it into the pier property the developer already owns. During those talks in March, officials said time was needed to conduct impact studies and determine what effects the proposed 126-room resort and nearly 600-car parking garage would have at the location.
News 6 spoke with Ron Hendrickson, who owned a condo next to the pier at the time. If the resort is built, he said he probably would not come back anymore.
‘’It would take the beauty away from this,’’ Hendrickson said. ‘’On the weekends, it’s so crowded right now.’’
Though more residents made such concerns heard during the talks in March, questioning impacts to conservation efforts and traffic congestion, Cocoa Beach Mayor Ben Malik said the pier needs redevelopment.
“This isn’t something we are hiding from anybody. We can’t continue to operate when expenses rise faster than our revenues rise. Some redevelopment needs to occur for us to be able to continue to provide services,” Malik said.
Westgate will now move to present final construction plans, including details of the relationship between the development and the surrounding community.
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