Draper Lake

Location: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, USA
Project Categories: Urbanism
Year Started: 2003
Status: construction
Size: 40 acres
Partners: Dover-Kohl and Partners

Draper Lake is one of several special types of dunal lakes exclusively found along the Florida Panhandle. Typically, a dunal lake fronts the Gulf of Mexico beach and is connected through a dune opening. The Coastal Village includes wooded land on two peninsulas totaling 28 acres which slope down to a portion of Draper Lake. The property also includes the lake bottom for a total of approximately 40 acres. A small commercial parcel, about two acres in size, is also included along the northern edge of the eastern end of the site, fronting on Highway 30A. Other conventional suburban housing subdivisions back up to the remaining edges of Draper Lake between this site and the beach connection. Development is not permitted within a 100 foot buffer of the lakefront, and limited development is permitted within a 300 foot buffer.

Watch Blake Morar's homebuilding journey in Draper Lake. The video features Interior Designer Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors, Architect Geoff Chick of Geoff Chick & Associates, Contractor Burt Cosson of Eucheeana Valley Construction, and Videographer Derek Makekau of 20/30 North Studios.

The Master Plan anticipates approximately 90-plus units of single-family homes. Amenities include a pool, two boathouses, a rustic pavilion for games, and a lake pavilion located on a small tip of land on the opposite side of the lake. Three existing streets terminate at the property line on the western side. A tributary to the lake separates the two peninsulas and extends north to Highway 30-A. A newly constructed regional bike path parallels the roadway in this area.

The site layout and architectural character of the new traditional Coastal Village for Draper Lake is designed in character with the building traditions of the historic Great Camps of the Adirondacks, the Chautauqua Assemblies, and other mountain/ lake villages and retreats including those found in Canada and the Carolinas. The new Coastal Village incorporates a mix of housing types typically found in rustic villages including the single-family houses fronting the greens and village streets and lake houses fronting on pedestrian pathways with vehicular access exclusively from rear lanes. The master plan layout is designed so the lake house lots can be assembled in aggregate to form a "family compound" of homes. These compounds would consist of about six lake house lots on average, but the houses or cottages would be clustered together preserving more of the slope fronting Draper Lake. The "Family Compound" provides flexibility for extended families to collectively develop a larger collection of lots in a variety of ways.

The Regulating Plan and Architectural, Urban, and Street Standards are to regulate the layout and character of the buildings, circulation, and open space. The Master Plan is designed in relationship to the surrounding area. Designs of houses are to reflect environmental sensitivity through building design and land preservation. Architectural elements are oriented to provide shade along balconies, patios, and porches.

Pedestrian trails are to provide a continuous link to the greenway system running through the property. The trails keep the lakefront open for the enjoyment of the entire community – rather than the conventional approach typically found in suburban subdivisions where continuous private backyards block the waterfront and views. In addition, pedestrian trails extend from the lakefront to each of the two village greens located on the east and west peninsula.

The commercial edge along Highway 30-A is an ideal and convenient location for a restaurant with frontage along the regional bike path and walking distance for the residents. Incorporating this modest degree of mixed-use adjacent to the new Coastal Village offers residents the advantage of getting some daily needs within walking distance of their homes, reducing car trips.

The two Village Greens offer each peninsula a central public space and provide the appropriate location for future civic or community buildings. Additional useful public spaces are provided with several small neighborhood greens that open out towards the lakefront for community gathering and recreation.

Master Plan Neighborhood view Neighborhood aerial rendering viewing the water. Waterfront Pavilion

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