Cocoa Beach gave the OK Thursday for a developer to move ahead with plans for a luxury resort at the site of the International Palms Hotel.
The city commission unanimously issued a variance that allows the developer, Driftwood Acquisitions, to go as high as 70 feet in constructing a planned Westin Cocoa Beach resort. Current city regulations place a height restriction limiting new construction to 45 feet.
The issue drew a standing-room only crowd to the commission chambers.
Most residents at the meeting spoke in favor of the variance, hopeful that the hotel would bring economic development to the area and eager to see the run-down International Palms replaced. Those against the variance said it would block the view of the beach and threaten Cocoa Beach’s small-town character.