Southeast
Beach parking spaces near the 5th Avenue Boardwalk and James H. Nance Park in Indialantic are closed during COVID-19 precautions. (Photo: TIM SHORTT/FLORIDA TODAY)

FL - County, cities divided on regulating beach parking, park access

Cocoa Beach City Manager Jim McKnight has a heads-up for Orlando residents and other out-of-towners who want to visit city beaches in Brevard County this weekend: "We don't have any parking for them yet."

1st Street South in Cocoa Beach closed to parking. Beachside parking in Brevard has been closed to parking since March, but the beaches remained open with restrictions.  County-owned beach parking may soon open, but city-owned beach parking could remain closed for longer.
1st Street South in Cocoa Beach closed to parking. Beachside parking in Brevard has been closed to parking since March, but the beaches remained open with restrictions. County-owned beach parking may soon open, but city-owned beach parking could remain closed for longer. (Photo: MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY)

McKnight's warning Friday echoed that of several other beachside cities and towns in Brevard as novel coronavirus lockdowns begin to lift. Officials of those communities said they plan to keep beach parking closed this weekend, to limit crowds, despite county government opening open up its beachside parking in the unincorporated areas of the county.  

County parks beachside in Brevard have been closed to parking since March. Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach is closed and gated to cars.
County parks beachside in Brevard have been closed to parking since March. Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach is closed and gated to cars.  (Photo: MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY)

The county Policy Group handling the local response to coronavirus pandemic voted 8-1 on Friday to reopen county-controlled beachside parks and parking areas. West Melbourne City Manager Scott Morgan — who was representing the Space Coast League of Cities on the Policy Group — was the sole dissenting vote.

The Policy Group's vote — which followed a 4-1 vote Thursday by the County Commission — has created a rift between the county and the beachside cities and towns.

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