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.

Notice how this started. The County put out a proposal to fix the deficiencies in the park and seeing an opening, developers decided to propose giving the park to the City in exchange for making repairs and building on the park property.

According to one source, the owner of the land on which Lori Wilson Park sits approached the City of Cocoa Beach years ago offering to donate the property to the City with one condition: the park would be named after his wife.

There are City regulations that prevented the park from being named after a living individual, so the owner turned to the County, which had no such regulations. Thus the park – Lori Wilson Park – was created. To see developers trying to get their camel noses under the tent to get at this real estate at the expense of the original owner, his wife, and the millions of people who come to Cocoa Beach use the park is somehow insulting.

We cannot imagine what right thinking, level headed City Commissioner would ever even think of selling out the residents of Cocoa Beach like this plan requires.

Some things shouldn’t be for sale.

6 Responses to “Cocoa Beach: Lori Wilson Park.”

  1. Percy says:

    The plot thickens. I’m going to go back and look at county commission meetings to see if I can find where they discussed the request made to the county commissioners and what the results were. I would think the county must have responded to this unsolicited bid by the developer in some form.

    I suspect they ran into a roadblock and figured it would just be easier to push it thru a smaller entity such as the local CB government. Why bother involving the whole county, it’s not as if this is a county park with free parking, oh wait, it is.

  2. Pam LaSalle says:

    One has to wonder if the park was allowed to run down intentionally, by design, to create the opportunity for development.

  3. Percy says:

    At the 22 Oct county commission meeting they had an item on the agenda to provide staff with a direction. Commissioner Lober ask for it to be removed until he received an input from CB. He stated that he would go along with whatever CB decided. As there was no mention of transferring ownership of the park to CB and the developers unsolicited bid was to the county I’m not sure how CB even got onto the topic of taking ownership of the property, it must have come from either the developer, the city, or the TDC. Still seems odd that CB is talking about taking ownership a county park without any direction from the county commissioners who own the park. This is one to keep an eye on because of potentially huge impacts to CB. Might be good, might not be good, residents just need more info to decide. Not much available at this time.

    • Jane Doe says:

      Percy – – perhaps the Cocoa Beach citizens should recognize that they could use the parking spaces at Lori Wilson Park to accommodate the city’s New Police Station. At the present time the city commissioners are trying to squeeze a police station into the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) downtown parking garage area which does not meet the Police Department’s original space request.

      During recent negotiations the International Palms Resort pointed out that there were a lot of police complaints going on in that area. It evidently is very costly for the city to police that area, not to mention the city’s liability concerns.

      The International Palms Resort recognized that the city holds the civic area in between their present two buildings / parcels of land and that they still have to be policed. Also, it is the primary Holiday Avenue beach access area that many city residents enjoy. Indications are that it SHALL remain a pedestrian right-of-way as such.

      Of course, the Lori Wilson worn down boardwalk which needs work might have to be torn down so the police department vehicles could insert a vehicle access to better protect and aid beach users. By shifting the present police department beach vehicle access to Lori Wilson Park it might actually allow the city to enlarge the Fisher Park parking are and obtain more revenue which they seek.

      This type of city renovation could then allow for the Main Street downtown businesses to market the available downtown space for tourist attractions, art shops/ museums just like local businesses and residents intended by agreeing with the county to have a CRA.

      In closing, Percy, let me tell you Cocoa Beach is not like Virginia Beach due to its many environmental issues. You can not build a solid concrete boardwalk let alone try to keep the beachfront replenished! Perhaps the county commissioners need to think HI… Checkout the State of Florida and see if their conservation parks area would like to change Lori Wilson Park into a park as nice as they did with Sebastian Inlet’s
      oceanfront Park.

  4. scott ellis says:

    It’s been many years, but at least half of Lori Wilson Park was purchased by the County with Beach and Riverfront funds (the first parcel). I do not recall how the second (adjacent) was acquired but I expect it was also paid for.