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Cocoa Beach: Lies My Commissioners Told Us.

Last week as we noted, the City of Cocoa Beach Commission passed a variance of 70 feet for the height of the redevelopment of the International Palms property.

It is one thing to agree or disagree on the vote itself, but it is another thing try to lie or deceive people.

Let’s start with the basics.

The drawings presented by the developer are pretty. Conceptual drawings are supposed to be pretty. They are supposed to present the building in the most favorable light.

Yet they are not the final plans or the way the renovation may look.

When people stood up during the public comment and said “we need something like this as it is really pretty,” they were buying into the idea that the conceptual drawings are going to be the end design.
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BREAKING NEWS: Cocoa Beach Approves Variance While Palm Bay Mayor Proves A Lack Of Leadership.

Cocoa Beach approved the 70 foot height variance for the International Palms redevelopment.

In our opinion, the people who were opposed to the variance that spoke did so on factual basis of the project not meeting the required criteria for approval of the variance.

Citizens who spoke in favor of the variance, including the City Commissioners, voted in favor of the variance because the conceptual plans were “pretty” and the project would bring in money. Neither is a criteria for the variance, but facts were trampled by money.


In Palm Bay, the City agreed to send City Councilmen Santiago, Anderson, Bailey and Johnson, as well as the City Manager and City Attorney to the JLAC hearing next week in Tallahassee.

The noticeable absence from that list is City Mayor Capote, on whose watch many of the violations in the JLAC report occurred.

This is the same man who claimed that the staff were “like his family.”

To us, it is an incredible lack of leadership for a Mayor not be at a hearing on his city.

It is also gutless.

What a sad night for two cities here in Brevard.



Cocoa Beach: Commission Meeting Tonight.

As we noted yesterday, tonight, Thursday, December 5, 2019, at 7:00 PM the Cocoa Beach City Commission will hold a regular meeting starting at 7:00 PM. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

The big item on the agenda as far as we are concerned is a variance for the group that owns the International Palms to build a new resort with the height of 70 feet of habitable space which is 155% taller than the height regulation approved by the voters in 2018.

As we stated, there is no valid reason given by the owners for this variance. All of the things they want corrected have nothing to do with the height of the building. Their justifications are simply to have a taller building to have more rooms and more income at the expense of the character and soul of Cocoa Beach.
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Cocoa Beach: 70 Is The New 45.

(EDITORS’ NOTE: We are breaking from our usual habit of posting about issues on local governments meetings the day of the meeting and posting this a day early. We are doing this because we believe it will give residents more time to disseminate and prepare for the meeting.)

On Thursday, December 5, 2019, the Cocoa Beach City Commission will hold a regular meeting starting at 7:00 PM. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

The meeting doesn’t seem like it will that long with many items the Commission should just rip through.

The real meat of the meeting is the very last item:

K NEW BUSINESS
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Cocoa Beach: Lori Wilson Park.

This came to us via a long circuitous route and frankly, we have no idea who they were sent to originally.

The two documents are:

1) The agenda item off of the Brevard Board of County Commissioners meeting. You can read this document offline by clicking here.

2) The proposal from Driftwood Acquisitions and Development, a development group, seeking to have the property given to the City of Cocoa Beach, putting $4 million dollars into the repair and development of the park with the addition of such things as a migratory bird pond and a 20,000 square foot restaurant which the developers will run and pay rent to the city for the use of the property. You can read this document offline by clicking here.
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Cocoa Beach: Commission Meeting Tonight – Presentation On Lori Wilson Park Takeover.

Tonight at 7:00 PM, the City Commission will meet in a regular meeting. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.

One of the interesting items is right up front:

C SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
1. Discuss possible transfer of ownership of Lori Wilson Park from Brevard County to the City of Cocoa Beach. No action is requested at this time; the presentation is intended for public dialogue.
Representatives: Mayor Ben Malik, Brevard County District 2 Commissioner Bryan Lober, Tourist Development Council Director Peter Cranis

While the presentation is only being made for public information and no vote will be taken on anything, there is something to watch out for and that is political “trickeration.”
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Cocoa Beach: There’s Facts And Research, And Then There Are The Lies Commissioners Told.

As we expected, the second reading of the marijuana ordinance passed Thursday night in Cocoa Beach.

One of the things that struck us was how Mayor Malik, and Commissioners Miller and Martinez kept saying “we’ve done the research and we know we are right.”

Let’s examine some of their claims.

1) All three men claimed that a felony conviction for marijuana possession ruins lives. That was one of Malik’s main points – he didn’t feel that a felony conviction for possession was right.

In berating others to “do their homework” as they had done, the three men missed something important:

In the State of Florida, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor – not a felony.
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Cocoa Beach: High Times.

Tonight the City of Cocoa Beach will hold a CRA meeting starting at 6:30 PM followed by a regular Commission meeting at 7:00 PM. The agenda for the meetings can be found here.

Of interest to us is the second reading of an ordinance that would change possession of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil offense punishable by a fine. The issue is being pushed by Mayor Ben Malick. In the cover memo for the item, he states:

Existing criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana, and for the possession of drug paraphernalia used to administer marijuana, are often disproportionate to the severity of the offense. Arrest records can ruin lives.

At the February 7, 2019, the Commission entertained the idea of instituting a citation process for the possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis (marijuana), and/or the possession with the intent to use drug paraphernalia as drug paraphernalia, and consented to placing the item on the Commission Agenda. Citations are an additional tool for the City Police Department to use at their discretion.

Many counties and cities,have instituted similar measures including: Alachua County, Broward County, Hallandale Beach, Key West, Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, Orlando, Osceola County, Palm Beach County, Port Ritchey, Tampa, Volusia County.

Where to begin?
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