Master Development Plan

Carolina Beach, NC

Applied Expertise

  • Urban Design
  • Waterfronts
  • Public Involvement
  • Design Standards
  • Economic Development
  • Downtown Development
  • Interpretive Planning
  • Heritage and Tourism


Carolina Beach is located on a barrier island between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean in southeastern North Carolina 15 miles south of Wilmington. Separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway, the Town has been a tourism destination for more than a century. During the summer season the Town’s population can be more than triple that of the rest of the year.

Due to its unique setting, beaches and history, Carolina Beach is under extreme development pressure and desires to accommodate growth and maintain its historic beachfront character. The Master Development Plan focuses on revitalizing the central business district, redevelop the town’s historic downtown boardwalk and enhancing the quality and function of the public realm. An analysis of the tourism and retail market resulted in development of several scenarios. Three-dimensional visualizations were created to help the public evaluate the alternatives. In addition to addressing the key local concerns, the Master Development Plan addressed the impacts of Federal Emergency Management Agency and Coastal Area Management Act regulations on new development.


2008 Merit Award for Unbuilt Design, NY Upstate Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

2008 Best Practice, WNY Section of the Upstate NY Chapter of the American Planning Association

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