Over. Developed.

I went for a bike ride yesterday in Lake Norman State Park. It’s a nice-sized preserve alongside man-made Lake Norman. In fact, it’s apparently the only stretch of lakefront not slated for development. The experience of riding along this undeveloped lake not lined with million dollar McMansions was actually a bit jarring:

Unspoiled lakefront

Sadly, when I reached the boat ramp at the end of the park, I could already see development beginning to encroach:

Development beginning

I suspect it’s only a matter of time before the entire lakefront starts to look like this picture I took last fall:

Really big houses

Even in New York City, you don’t have to go far from town to find larger undeveloped sections of the Hudson river than we have along Lake Norman. How many Golf Course Communities do we actually need? How much of the 520 miles of shoreline should be crowded with docks for launching ski boats and jet skis? Here in North Carolina (as I suspect in much of the rest of the country), the answer has already been settled. Undeveloped lakefront here is the exception rather than the rule. Lakes are places for speedboats and golf courses; trees and peace and quiet are just a waste of good, expensive land.

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