Folks back in 2002 when Cocoa Beach voted for height restrictions, I voted for it! Yes that’s right; as a REALTOR, I thought that it was the best thing for Cocoa Beach but I did not do my homework then and did not realize the long-term effects of the combination of the specifics of the restrictions of reducing the height, defining an absolute height without accommodation for rooftop utilities, and tying the measurement from the crown of the road” etc. You cannot even build a 4-story building with these restrictions – which is what most of us thought we were voting for. The combination of these restrictions is killing our tax base, the evidence is clear. FEMA has changed the rules with respect to flood risk in coastal cities, so now you can’t build on the first floor and that it must be a higher wash thru in flood zones. So with changes in FEMA’s regulations, as well as acceptable building standards, we must change. Ben, myself, and others do NOT want high rises, but just some room for some decent mid-rise development where it’s appropriate — not throughout the City.
There is nothing wrong with a 4 story condo above its garage on the vacant lot where the Bithlonians trash the beach (The Ocean Dunes project – Next to Boardwalk). I would love to see the International Palms transformed into something nicer and a bit more upscale (Lord knows we have enough cheaper hotels). There has been 2 buildings that received variances to go above 45 feet, the Fire Department and the Performing Arts Center at the school. Go take a look at those buildings and tell me if they are ugly or too high? But the variance process is not a viable avenue for any project than public use buildings, it’s a ridiculously restrictive process.
Before you make your mind up, get all the facts, don’t rely on the doom and gloomer’s propaganda and fear mongering about Miami – that ain’t gonna happen. Just because you adjust the rules after 15 years doesn’t mean you keep adjusting them higher and higher. Remember back in 2012 when Mixed Use was on the ballot, well 5 years later we have 3 buildings who have put residences above their commercial. I don’t want 10 story plus buildings but if it somewhere in between the 45 feet and six stories makes sense then let’s do it. When you replace a trashed lot with a 25 unit residence you increase your tax base and improve Cocoa Beach not hurt it.