NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A controversial plan to give a facelift to the world-famous Coney Island boardwalk was approved following a final hearing on Monday.

The Public Design Commission of the City of New York OK’d a Parks Department plan to replace stretches of the aging 2.7-mile boardwalk with concrete or plastic that looks like wood.

1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon Hears From Opponents Of The Plan

The approval is non-binding and requires that the Parks Department consider other options, including wood.

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe says the materials can last 75 years and is cheaper to build with than wood. The parks department says some natural woods last just eight years.

The boardwalk’s fate has been the subject of much debate. Opponents said the change would destroy the boardwalk’s character and make it less safe.

“It’s the last people’s amusement place left in New York City and I can’t believe you can’t find the money to maintain it — that’s just wrong,” Norm Finkelstein said.

Some believe maintaining the new materials will cost even more money.

“They can’t come up even with a budget for how much these costs are gonna actually be,” Todd Dobrin, with Friends of the Boardwalk, said.

Part of the wooden boardwalk has already been replaced by concrete. The current makeover plan focuses on a five-block section from Coney Island Avenue to Brighton 15th Street.

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