Lake Norman Waterfront Docks

The beautiful waterfront of Lake Norman in North Carolina

Lake Norman is a man made body of fresh water in North Carolina. The lake was created between 1959 and 1964 as part of the construction of the Cowans Ford Dam by Duke Energy, to provide fresh water and flood control for the region. The lake has a bounty of Parks with beautiful walking and biking trails including Jetton Park in Cornelius and it’s the perfect place to spend the day. It has 104 acres a small beach, a 1.3 bike trail and a 1.5 walking trail along the lake.

Lake Norman has been transformed into a statewide destination, and the story of what lies beneath its waters continues to fascinate. The lake was completed in 1963 by Duke Power, and it’s certainly big enough to hold an underwater city. It covers more than 32,000 acres. It has 520 miles of shoreline, and it touches four counties. Lake Norman as 49.81 mi² but it’s not the largest man-made lake in the world or even the country. It does hold the title of the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. 

Its shores and placid waters are home to a host of aquatic species like box turtles, catfish, and yellow perch, and are the perfect destination for people that want to live waterfront, have boats, and enjoy all that waterfront living has to offer. You will find other things like, fishing and guided fishing tours, several parks, walking trails and a whole host of activities right at your fingertips and Real estate values have completely recovered from the downturn of 2008-09.

Many developers who bought land and had projects lined up pulled out during the decline but are now back in the game and building in full force. Charlotte, the nation’s second largest financial district is right down the road, at about 30 miles from Lake Norman, and since Lake Norman’s creation, housing and real estate in the area have been subject to growth because of the appeal of the Lake Norman and the many jobs within close proximity to Charlotte, NC.

Home to great towns to live at

Lake Norman has spurred tremendous growth in neighboring towns like Mooresville, Huntersville, Cornelius, Denver and Davidson. It’s also present in Sherrills Ford and Troutman. Lake Norman Waterfront Homes are highly sought after by those looking for the fun and excitement that comes with Lakeside Living. At times the Inventory can be challenging to those trying to find the perfect fit and median home values in towns surrounding Lake Norman are all higher than the national average of $250,800. Waterfront homes though start in the lower millions with a pier and boathouse in North Carolina.

It’s possible to find affordable living close to the water at towns like Mooresville depending on the neighborhood. The greater Charlotte market and the Lake Norman area market, are strong, healthy housing markets. You will find fewer foreclosures and short sales in this market than you see in most of the rest of the country. You will find strong competition for the few “good” ones that hit the market.

North side of the lake along Hwy 150 would be the Towns of Sherrills Ford Waterfront Homes, Terrell Waterfront Homes & Troutman Waterfront Home; including Mooresville.
South side of the Lake between Hwy 16 and I77 would be the Town of Cornelius Waterfront Homes.
East side of the lake along I77 would be the Town of Mooresville Waterfront Homes; including Cornelius.
West side of the lake along Hwy 16 would be the Town of Denver Waterfront Homes.

The proper beach vibe at Ramsey Creek Park Beach. Photo by John Simmons of the Charlotte Observer.
The proper beach vibe at Ramsey Creek Park Beach. Photo by John Simmons of the Charlotte Observer.

The History of Lake Norman

Lake Norman’s original purpose was More than fifty years later, the lake Duke Power had been damming the Catawba River since the early part of the century to create hydroelectric power. Lake Norman was the final and largest of the seven lakes on the river, from just above Morganton down to where the Catawba joins the Santee-Cooper in South Carolina. Duke had been buying the land since the 1920s, and by the 1950s the company had almost all it needed for the project.

Getting permits to build a boat dock in Lake Norman

Private docks are highly regulated and must be approved by Duke Energy Lake Services (DELS).  As part of their environmental commitment, DELS manages lake activities to ensure the maintenance of natural ecology of these areas. By managing requests for piers, docks and other shoreline structures, they help preserve the environmental, recreational and cultural value of our precious resources. A maintenance application is required for any updates or improvements on current structures including but not limited to: replacing dock boards (decking), framing, or structural changes. When replacing pilings, floats, or boat lifts a permit is not required. There are various requirements that will need to be taken into consideration prior to submitting an application when it comes to building a private dock.  Allow us to navigate the application process by meeting the requirements of obtaining your permit, through final inspection.

This is the website for requesting Permits for SHoreline Activities at Lake Norman and region.

And the following local real estate website, put together the list below with more information on their website, but here are the main items when it comes to building waterfront at Lake Norman:

1. Private docks: Without a private, permitted dock, the value of a waterfront property is significantly lower than the same property with a dock. If you must get a permit, do so BEFORE closing!

2. Look for Permit Plate: If you are looking at waterfront homes with a dock, you should check to make sure there is a permit affixed to the end of the dock.

3. Measure depth of water and understand possible variations of lake levels: so we can calculate the lowest and highest water depths of your pier/dock/boatslip.

4. 50′ Setback: They are meant to protect the 50′ closest to the lake by prohibiting removal of trees and native vegetation, planting of lawns, and size of footpaths.

5. Types of views/locations and their impacts/waves, noise, wear and tear on docks and boats: So, do you want to live on the Main Channel and enjoy wide-open expansive views of Lake Norman or do you have enough Mark Twain in you to prefer a quiet cove where you can kayak and enjoy more privacy.

6. Grandfathered boat ramps, boat houses and extra large/long docks: There are rules about how to maintain and repair these docks etc. so before doing any work check with Duke Energy.

7. Shoreline Stabilization like Seawalls and rip rap:  For example, a sea wall will only be allowed now where an eroded bank is less than 3′ high. Bio-engineering or enhanced rip rap are the only stabilization techniques allowed in areas where the eroded bank is less than 2′ high.

8. Lake water irrigation: One of the bonuses with a waterfront home on Lake Norman is that many have permitted pumps to use lake water for irrigating your gardens.

Max Francisco