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Another Fl. Marina goes PRIVATE

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Old 11-16-2005, 08:36 AM
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Default Another Fl. Marina goes PRIVATE

Cocoa could lose 100 slips

Most of marina may be privatized

BY AARON DESLATTE
FLORIDA TODAY ADVERTISEMENT




TALLAHASSEE - A Florida developer trying to privatize a Cocoa marina is close to ending a six-month legal fight that has stymied statewide efforts to address public-boater access.

If a proposed settlement agreement is approved, it would mean as few as 20 public-use boat slips would be guaranteed at the Whitley Bay Marina within three years, and the city would receive reimbursement for some improvements it made.

Dream Harbors, a Naples development group seeking to privatize Whitley Bay Marina on the Indian River Lagoon, filed a legal challenge this summer over the state's refusal to let it privatize the slips. The case has also held up rules meant to steer marina lease discounts away from private yacht clubs or condo associations.

Lawyers for both sides negotiated a deal to drop the complaints in return for converting most of its Cocoa dock slips to private use.

The settlement agreement is scheduled to go to Gov. Jeb Bush and the Cabinet next week.

"Money is a very powerful force," said state Rep. Bob Allen, R-Merritt Island, who pushed the city's case before the Cabinet last spring. "We were fighting for the people's access, and we won on the first round. But the moneyed interests wouldn't quit, so we had to make the best deal possible."

The proposed settlement would reimburse the city $607,000 it paid to build a riverwalk and promenade, give the city an easement to complete construction of the riverwalk between the marina and the city's River Front Park, and keep at least 20 of its 120 boat slips publicly available for short-term rental. The rest could be leased long-term.

The Cocoa City Council approved the settlement a week ago.

"It's not all of the slips, but it's 20 of the slips," Cocoa City Attorney Anthony Garganese said. "The primary concern is to keep that area open on a first-come, first-served basis in some form or fashion."

In exchange for giving up 20 slips now, Dream Harbors would win a 25-year extension on its marina leases set to expire at the end of 2008, and the right to convert the rest of its slips into club membership use after three years. Cocoa could petition to keep 10 slips public.

Dream Harbors also would work with the city to create a public mooring area somewhere downtown, preferably near River Front Park, and contribute $50,000 to it.

"I think it's a good deal for boater, pedestrian and taxpayer," said John Titkanich, Cocoa's community development director.

Dream Harbors owners and lawyers did not return phone calls.

As part of the settlement, Dream Harbors has agreed to rename the marina "Cocoa Village Marina," and to continue allowing hourly use of mooring space there, as well as agreeing to help provide water taxi service from the yet-undetermined mooring area to River Front Park.

This is a bad trend.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Another Fl. Marina goes PRIVATE

Well up here Most Marinas are selling out to builders. They close the Marina and build condos right where your boat slip was
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Old 11-16-2005, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Another Fl. Marina goes PRIVATE

Quote:
Originally Posted by CAP071
Well up here Most Marinas are selling out to builders. They close the Marina and build condos right where your boat slip was

Hey, CAP,
I guess it's happening everywhere in the US! I'm just glad we don't have to worry about access to the water since we have 2 docks with 10,000 lbs lifts.
It's going to get real interesting here in the next couple of years as to how much water access there is going to be around the country!
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Old 11-16-2005, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Another Fl. Marina goes PRIVATE

It's almost becoming a crisis...soon, there won't be anywhere to keep and launch a boat.

I see a lot of this in Boat-US magazine, every month we lose a ramp or a marina.
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Another Fl. Marina goes PRIVATE

The last Marina around me to close sent out notices less then 1 week. Get your boats out NOW!

Hiperf2000 from here had less then 1 week to find a place for his 35 Sonic what BS
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