Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cocoa Beach Race Trac Gas Station Hearing Tonight

COCOA BEACH, Fla. -- The City of Cocoa Beach Board of Adjustment will hold a hearing tonight at 6:30 p.m. on whether to permit Race Trac a variance to build a gas station on the northeast corner of  the intersection of St. Lucie Lane and Atlantic Avenue (State Road A1A).  
 
The Board determined that due to the large number of residents expected to attend the hearing, the hearing should be moved from the from City Hall to the Cocoa Beach Golf Course Auditorium at the end of Tom Warriner Boulevard.
Race Trac is requesting that the City of Cocoa Beach permit a 16 pump gas station to be built in the tourist corridor of Cocoa Beach.

At the last meeting on the issue, there were so many residents in attendance that some had to wait outside the doors of City Hall.  Many residents opposed the construction of the gas station which they contend is incompatible with the tourist zone, a hazard to pedestrians, odors, lighting, and vehicle traffic flow coming in and going out of the proposed gas station.

Mayor Skip Beeler and Vice-Mayor Dave Neddestrom spoke out against the gas station in their capacities as residents of Cocoa Beach.  Mayor Beeler pointed out that there is no turnout lane for the proposed Race Trac like other Race Tracs in the local area.  
 
Additionally, Mayor Beeler stated that the Florida Department of Transportation has plans to build a bike path from the Wakulla Motel down to 1st Street South.  Once that bike path has been built, the Mayor contends that pedestrian traffic leading up to the proposed gas station will only increase.

The property in question is comprised of three lots: Harvey Groves, the former Burger King lot, and an adjacent vacant lot to the east.
The Cocoa Beach City Staff memo recommended that the Board approve the variance, provided Race Trac makes adjustments to fit within the City's Comprehensive Zoning Plan.
Representatives of Race Trac contend that the value they bring to the Cocoa Beach community is lower gas prices.  They compared the proposed Race Trac as similar in juxtaposition as the Sunoco gas station located on A1A next to the Holiday Inn Express in the tourist area near the Cocoa Beach Pier.
 
Race Trac gas stations often have some of the lowest gas prices in Brevard County.