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AN OPEN GATE at Lake Perry

Recently we were invited by the Perryville City Administrator to check out a gated community at Lake Perry just outside of the city of Perryville. I really never gave a lot of attention to gated communities or why people use them.

I’m Brent Buerck the Perryville City Administrator. My wife and I share our lot with another family. It's set up for up to 4 campers and we try to fill it up on holiday weekends. It's a great place to relax and recreate with family and friends. It's nice because I am only about 25 minutes away and it is always available for us to camp.

Here’s what we learned.

...a sense of security.

Security seems like one of the biggest reasons for sure. The benefits of living in a gated community are many, but perhaps the most obvious and attractive perk of a gated community vs. a non-gated community is a sense of security.

Gated community residents share a certain closeness and comradery. They want to relax, let their hair down and foster a sense of community. Neighbors taking care of neighbors and the good people at Lake Perry certainly fall into that category.

...considerate neighbors...

Almost everyone we spoke to at the lake brought the community into the conversation. That gives you considerate neighbors—who expect curb appeal and cohesive and aesthetically pleasing lake planning. Also, shared spaces, clubhouses, and regular planned parties and events.

Lake Perry is a community featuring a 200-acre lake having nearly two miles of shoreline. Lake Perry is situated within 1,800 acres of hardwood forest set in the hills of southeast Missouri near Interstate 55, approximately 70 miles south of St. Louis. The property is adjacent to Mark Twain National Forest and is filled with abundant animal wildlife. There are two springs that feed the crystal clear lake and provide a haven for fishermen, boaters, and nature lovers.

If seclusion from the outside world is what you crave, you’ll find far more peace and quiet in a gated community like Lake Perry. Watching the sunrise with your morning coffee, the after-dinner dog walk, or a serene evening on the patio all become a lot more relaxing without the noise pollution from traffic.

Currently, approximately 130 homes have been built, ranging from simple weekend cabins to deluxe lakefront homes. Many lakefront lots have their own docks and boat slips.

Rich and Brenda DeWilde took us on a tour of the lake. It was one of the most relaxing, beautiful evenings we had in a while. The lake was wonderful and everyone we met was very friendly.

573: Tell us about yourselves and Lake Perry.

Brenda and I both grew up in Perryville. We will be married 48 years on July 28th We have three sons. All three are married and we have 13 grandchildren.

It's our 'Happy Place'

We originally purchased a camping lot at Lake Perry in 1988. We sold it in 2004 when we purchased our cabin. We always intended to expand... and three years ago when a wind storm toppled large trees on our cabin, it sped up the process of expansion as we were repairing the storm damage.

We enjoy the lake and our cabin. It's our 'Happy Place' as Brenda describes it. We have sporadic phone calls and texts at the lake which is nice. On the whole, I enjoy seeing friends, families, and everyone getting together for fun, recreation, and relaxation.

We have met so many great people over the years and it is always good to see them and see how their families have grown. It is great to have amenities such as a beautiful spring-fed lake, large swimming pool, restaurant, playground equipment, beaches, bathhouses and all this in a gated community setting, with the majority of the roads paved.

I believe our favorite thing about being there is the downtime as we escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.

573: Tell us about the available lots at the lake.

We have lots in 8 different plats as well as the mini-farms and Tanglewood Trails is a camping area where each lot owner owns their particular camping lot. It is permanent camping. The mini-farms are larger lots, on the whole. and can be used for camping or can accommodate homes or even mobile or modular homes.

The other 8 plats have restrictions specific to each of them. They are all considered building lots. Plats 1 and 2 allow camping with a camping permit. Plat 3 has permanent camping as well as some specific lots in Plat 4 and 5. Plat eight allows camping beyond 1000' of the lake. All this provides a lot of options for anyone looking to be part of the community.

Security is generally provided by the Perry County Sheriff's Department deputies; The Lot Owners' Association also adds a private security firm's personnel to patrol and enforce the restrictions. This security personnel is on duty on the three major weekends of Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day as well as random weekends in between.

573: What's your favorite thing about the lake.

This has depended on the age of our kids. When they were younger, we loved going to the pool to swim and the sandy beach to play in the sand. As they got older, we joined friends on their boats and went tubing. Now, there is a lot of relaxing at the lot, playing games and telling stories around a campfire.

573: How does the lake assist economic development?

The lake is unincorporated but actually represents the 2nd largest community in Perry County. Lake Perry serves as a second home for many people from St. Louis and Southeast Missouri. When they come to the Lake, they stop in Perryville for food, drink, and gas. The energy is particularly noticeable on a holiday weekend.

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