Cocoa Beach avoids drinking ban on beach
Cocoa Beach visitors and residents can drink on the beach for another year as the city turns to businesses to help control unruly beachgoers at the end of Minuteman Causeway.
The city wants to curtail rowdy behavior that results when hundreds of people park downtown and pack beach beyond "The Ramp."
Many downtown merchants who spoke Tuesday night at a public meeting agreed there was a problem but opposed an alcohol ban on the beach, fearing it would hurt business.
They suggested businesses take a more active role in monitoring beachgoers and start a campaign to discourage bad behavior.
"There seems to be a lot of support for the private sector, that benefits from the consumption of alcohol on the beach, stepping up and working to solve this problem more so than the city legislating the solution," said Bob Majka, Cocoa Beach city manager.
Majka plans to meet with downtown business owners and beer distributors to discuss what steps can be taken to curtail the disruptions.
In July, Majka suggested a full or partial ban on alcohol consumption at the downtown beach as a way to curb illegal behavior such as assault, battery, drunk and disorderly conduct, urinating in public, and lewd and lascivious acts.
"We're looking for solutions," Majka said. "We all want the same thing for people to come here and have a good time, act responsibly and not a create negative impact on the community."