The vision for a Town Center at Lake Lure emerged early in our community’s history with the 1926 plan by the late Earle Sumner Draper, a nationally respected landscape architect .
As a result of the Great Depression, only a few key elements of that original design were constructed, including the Lake Lure Inn and the Lake Lure Arcade Building.
Over time, transformative developments have had an ever-changing impact on the Lake Lure Town Center. Some of these include changing demographics, commercial development outside of the Town Center, increasing popularity of the Lake Lure area as a recreational destination, the continuing transitional impacts of Chimney Rock Park as a North Carolina State Park, and increasing seasonal traffic congestion.
Throughout the changing forces of time, one thing has remained constant for the Lake Lure Town Center. Our community's residents, planners and business leaders have envisioned it as the central gathering place where our collective livelihood and sense of connection with each other fuses within a framework encompassing two of our most iconic landmarks – the Lake Lure beachfront and the 1927 Lake Lure Inn.
Whether it has been referred to as downtown development, the creation of a Main Street experience or what we refer to today as simply our beloved Town Center, the vision remains strong and very much connected to Draper's original vision.Trough economic downturns, competing resources, limited finances or even different viewpoints about how it should be developed, it seems nothing has deterred the collective will to create this sense of community place in the heart of Lake Lure's sweeping vistas.
Breathing New Life into the Town Center Plan
A more detailed master plan for the Town Center became a greater priority in 2010 when elected leaders realized that it was necessary to give the community an organized voice and an opportunity to shape the Town Center into a place that represents and serves residents and visitors. Funds were eventually allocated to move forward with a plan.
Phase one of the 2012 Town Center Master Plan gave citizens, property owners and business owners an opportunity to express opinions and expectations that evolved into a set of guiding principles for the Town Center.
The resulting illustrative of Phase One, followed by a comprehensive market assessment and branding initiative in 2013 both served to build some important pillars in the continuing plans for the Town Center.
In 2014, elected leaders, community and business stakeholders again came together to further sharpen the plans in order to address some strategically important landmarks for the Town Center. These included creating Small Area Plans for a Main Street corridor, a central gateway to welcome pedestrian and vehicular traffic and a plan for a pedestrian connector bridge across Marina Bay from Morse Park. The concept for the bridge was actually resurrected from earlier rough plans in the Town Center’s unfolding history.
Today, all of these plans play a crucial role in solidifying how the Town Center will be developed.
It is important to remember that all of the various aspects of the Town Center planning process are designed, not as rigid blueprints to be followed without flexibility, but rather as guidance to those wishing to invest in this valuable asset for Lake Lure.
All Town Center Plan Documents from 1926 - 2014
2014 Town Center Small Area Plan:
The Small Area Plan for the Lake Lure Town Center was initiated when Town Council commissioned the Zoning and Planning Board to develop a Town Center Small Area Plan and to do so by working through various groups of citizen stakeholders.
The Town Center Small Area Plan focuses on three smaller plans within what has traditionally been defined as the area encompassing the Town Center: Morse Park Pedestrian Bridge & Bay Area Plan, Rocky Broad Gateway Plan and the Main Street Master Plan.
Working closely with town staff, the Planning Board developed a scope of work and contracted with local landscape architect, Vic Knight of Knight Strategies. Knight Strategies collaborated with three citizen stakeholder groups regarding each of the plans.
Town Council adopted the Small Area Plan for the Lake Lure Town Center at the close of 2014.
2012 Town Center Plan, Phase One:
In response to the recommendations made in the 2007-2027 Comprehensive Plan, calling for a plan for the Town Center, Town Council secured the professional guidance of LandDesign Inc., and appointed a steering committee to complete Phase One of the plan.
The Town of Lake Lure solicited input from voters, property owners, business owners, community leaders and residents. The plan, including the guiding principles and recommendations, was presented and ultimately adopted in August of 2012.
2011 Chimney Rock State Park Master Plan:
In July 2011, Greenways, Inc. released a new Master Plan for Chimney Rock State Park that will serve as a road map for development of recreational amenities
2007-2027 Comprehensive Plan:
The Town of Lake Lure’s Comprehensive Plan was developed through a process initiated by the Town of Lake Lure and managed by the consultant team of LandDesign, Inc. and the Community Development Director. This document represents the efforts of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee who guided the planning process and should be recognized not only for the effort expended, but also for their continued commitment to the Comprehensive Plan.
Many other groups and individuals contributed to the development of the Comprehensive Plan.
Stakeholders interviewed during the process represented members from the Zoning and Planning
Board, Town Council, Lake Advisory Committee, Board of Adjustments, Town Staff, the Mayor
of Lake Lure, Jim Proctor, and the community at large. (A complete list of stakeholders can be
found in Appendix D.) Planners, open space professionals, key business and community leaders,
and concerned citizens participated in a series of meetings and workshops; their efforts are
reflected in the outcome of plan. These groups and individuals are gratefully acknowledged for
their invaluable contributions through their participation, their energy, and their passion.
1926 Draper Plan: