The City of Lauderdale Lakes and Its CRA
When it was incorporated in 1961, the four square-mile
city of Lauderdale Lakes was home to only 300 residents
(predominantly retirees from the northeast), still contained operating farms, and was located on the western edge of
the region’s development. As the region’s population moved westward, Lauderdale Lakes began to change. Today the city enjoys a central location in the heart of Broward County and contains a population of over 34,000, with a density of 8,500 people per square mile.
Because of Lauderdale Lakes’ central location in the heart of Broward County, many of the South Florida region’s travel routes run through or in proximity to the city. The composition of the city’s residents has also changed. It is now majority Black as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau with a predominantly Caribbean and African-American population that includes a large number of residents born in the West Indies (Jamaica and Haiti). The city is also home to a wide variety of ethnic restaurants and cultural events.
Since its creation in 1999, the Lauderdale Lakes CRA has served as an important force in the city’s development and economic growth. The CRA’s decisions have been guided
by the Citizen’s Master Plan that was developed through a citizen-led community planning process and involved an interactive dialogue among stakeholders, CRA staff, planning professionals, and city leadership. The process enabled participants to share concerns about and hopes for the city’s downtown area. By working together, they reached consensus about their desired future for the city and its downtown and how that could be achieved. The plan, which was adopted by the city in 2003, outlines community needs and desires and serves as the blueprint that directs public and private investment to key projects that are revitalizing the city’s commercial corridors. The core of the master plan is the creation of a transit-oriented town center at the intersection of SR 7 and Oakland Park Boulevard that creates a sense of place and a regional destination in the heart of Broward County.