COMMISSIONER'S CORNER: ED MARTINEZ
Albert Einstein once said that “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. This comes to mind whenever I have conversations about the 45ft height restriction in Cocoa Beach. The discussions are passionate, cause division and at times, filled with rumors.
In order to come to an agreement we will need to have an honest and open discussion based on facts and not fear. Certainly we do not want to deviate from our Charter goal of a “low-density residential and family-oriented resort community”. However, we should take a sensible approach to change while maintaining those goals.
A decision was made to set the arbitrary number of 45ft and the long term impacts of that limitation were not fully considered. The decision created decline in development, lack of reinvestment in our existing properties, loss of tax revenue from new development and unappealing block shaped buildings. The fact that the height is measured from the crown of the road vs. actual base created disparity. In some cases buildings must adhere to the new FEMA Base Flood Elevations which require parking on the first floor.
The Mission of the Charter Review Committee is to review the City Charter of the City of Cocoa Beach and to make recommendations to the City Commission on proposed amendments to the Charter. Currently there is a draft of ballot proposal to increase permissible building structures to 70 ft. This could allow for a 5 story building. It’s important to emphasize that no change to density is being considered nor would I support it. I believe this is a sensible approach. You have an opportunity to be part of the discussion and ultimately vote on any change brought to the commission. So we have a decision to make as a community together. We have a unique opportunity to chart a new path forward.
Your vote will be heard this November.
I welcome your comments and emails