Cocoa Beach Pier Complex Gains City Commission Support on Meade Avenue

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Officials at Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier have received an early vote — a big one — to expand by building a $60 million timeshare resort and parking lot.

Orlando-based Westgate Resorts – the world’s largest private timeshare company – hopes to build the 126-room resort and parking lot atop today’s pier parking lot.

The proposed project also includes the easternmost half acre of the Meade Avenue public right-of-way. On Thursday evening, the Cocoa Beach City Commission unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance releasing the land.

“I see this as a positive thing for our community. And I fully support this project and the liberation of Meade Avenue,” said Commissioner Karalyn Woulas.

This artist's rendering shows a proposed hotel and parking lot on a shortened Meade Avenue at the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, looking east toward the ocean.

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The second final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for March 17. The project would also require additional future votes, primarily for a negotiated development agreement and a zoning discrepancy allowing the complex to exceed the 45-foot building height limit.

That development agreement would include drawings detailing the project’s Disability Act-compliant beach access walkway off Meade Avenue, Director of Development Services Randy Stevenson told the commissioners. This walkway should meander along the north wall of the station.

The agreement would also detail vehicle parking, access to public restrooms, construction access, sand placement, and Brevard County Shoreline Protection Program operations.

The area in yellow represents the half-acre of the Meade Avenue public right-of-way that Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier wants the city to vacate, while the westernmost green portion would remain open to the public.

Thursday’s city commission vote hinged on:

  • No net loss of municipal parking spaces. Lost spaces must be replaced in the parking lot, on Pulsipher Avenue or elsewhere on the site.
  • Meade Avenue land acquired by Westgate – and any subsequent owners – should not be used for development density calculations.

Because Meade Avenue is a flat right-of-way, city officials aren’t allowed to sell it, city attorney Becky Vose said. She said the vacation would not go into effect until the city commission approves all the details of the resort project, which will incorporate a traffic study.

“It will come back to our board, to the building department, to our city attorney. Each of us – and the residents – everyone eats a bite of an apple,” Mayor Ben Malik said.

This bird's eye view rendering depicts the proposed parking lot and hotel (dark gray and green) at Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier.

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The existing pier car park contains 262 spaces and the proposed garage would contain 590 spaces, according to agenda records.

Space Coast Tourism Board executive director Peter Cranis told commissioners that his organization was supportive of the project – as long as the Brevard County Attorney’s Office, the Brevard County Department of Natural Resources Management and Brevard County Commission are satisfied with written agreements guaranteeing perpetual access to beach supply vehicles. and equipment.

Savanna Lanza, executive director of the National Kidney Foundation of Florida, and Phil Salick, co-founder of the NKF Rich Salick Pro-Am Surf Festival, expressed their support for the project. The 36th annual event was held at the pier in September.

Jack Kirschenbaum, a GrayRobinson attorney representing Westgate, said company officials spent a year planning the project and meeting with various city hall departments.

The westernmost 195 feet of Meade Avenue connecting Ocean Beach Boulevard would remain public property, while the easternmost 459 feet of dead-end roadway would be vacated by the city.

This artist's rendering shows a proposed resort at the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, seen southwest of the beach.

Rick Neale is the South Brevard Watchdog reporter at FLORIDA TODAY (for more of his stories, click here.) Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or [email protected]. Twitter: @RickNeale1

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