At the May 1 KICA Board of Directors meeting, the community was invited to view a presentation from the Sandcastle planning team on options to renovate and improve this important community asset. View a PDF of this presentation.
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RB Survey results are in! View the results at kica.us/rhetts-bluff-survey-
In addition to the results, many property owner comments were made. These are being reviewed. Thank you for your participation. The information gathered will be very helpful in planning the reconstruction of this amenity.
Last month, KICA announced its commitment to providing an unfiltered member forum for information sharing, discussion and general announcements. Two options (described briefly below) are being reviewed as potential solutions, and KICA would like your input. The options being considered are:
– A listserv, like the iKiawah list or an unfiltered version of the KICAlist
– A third-party product, such as Nextdoor or Front Porch Forum
The KICA Board of Directors recently asked staff to begin work on plans to upgrade the Sandcastle. The Sandcastle facility is the primary amenity available to all KICA members. The 21-year-old community center has received only minor investments over that period, while the number of KICA properties has grown by about 10% and usage data shows an increase in the number of members using the facilities at Sandcastle.
In 2015, members voted down a $245 increase in annual KICA fees, which was needed to support the financing for a proposed $8.6 Million upgrade to the Sandcastle. Although the vote to borrow significantly and invest in a very major upgrade at Sandcastle did not pass, it is clear that this facility requires attention beyond minor investments. KICA’s acquisition of the Town Municipal Center building in October 2016 will provide additional meeting space and further flexibility to how the space at the Sandcastle can be used. Therefore, the board has authorized an investment to reinvigorate and improve the Sandcastle.
There will be a community presentation no later than June with the details to date. The level of investment will be less than half of what was previously proposed, and the board believes KICA can fund this through a combination of reducing current operating reserves and a minor financing. Since there will be no increase in annual dues, a member vote is not required. The goal is to have the project completed and in service by summer 2018.
The key components of this investment include:
– bringing the look and feel more in line with Kiawah standards
– operating within the current footprint of the building
– taking better advantage of the ocean views
– maintaining or increasing the space allocation for fitness
– constructing an adult pool (which may be done now or in the future, depending on whether it can be accomplished within the budgetary framework outlined).
We look forward to sharing the plans when they are available, and are open to input and suggestions from the community.
A new fractional ownership development on Kiawah by Timbers Resorts was recently announced. This development is the result of a sale from Kiawah Partners to Timbers Resorts.
The site is located near the entrance to Beachwalker County Park, outside the Kiawah Island Main Gate but still a part of the community association. The plan is to build three 4-story buildings, each with seven units, as well as a separate clubhouse (with an 800-square-foot fitness center and a concierge) and a swimming pool. There will be two 3-bedroom units on each of the three lower stories and one 4-bedroom penthouse on the top floor.
This development will share one characteristic with timeshares, which is that they have fractional ownership (Town of Kiawah Island ordinances do not permit timeshares but do allow fractional ownership). Unlike a timeshare, ownership in each unit is not spread across 52 owners, rather the 4-bedroom penthouse units will each have six owners and the 3-bedroom units will each have nine owners. As a result, there would be a total of 180 owners versus over 1,000 in a typical timeshare of this size. Also, unlike many timeshares, these are very high-end properties with a target price of $500,000 per owner for the 3-bedroom units and $1.2 million per owner for the penthouse.
In terms of the legal relationship between these properties and KICA, The Timbers group will pay the prevailing annual assessment to KICA for each of the 21 units (21 full fees). Like other multiple ownership properties on Kiawah, one owner (“the primary owner”) from each unit will have full access to KICA amenities, voting rights for the unit, etc. Also like any other multiple owner properties, secondary owners have the option of paying an additional amenity assessment for a Sandcastle membership. The Timbers group has indicated that they plan to provide these Sandcastle memberships for each of the secondary owners and incorporate the added cost in the annual ownership costs passed along to all 180 owners. This means KICA will receive 159 additional amenity assessments. The association, however, feels that Sandcastle usage by Timbers owners is likely to be low based on the fact that they will have their own fitness center and oceanfront pool.
From a Kiawah Island Club perspective, the development has been given the rights to 21 memberships. The current plan will be to offer these first to each of the 18 penthouse buyers. The remaining three memberships, plus any available if a penthouse buyer elects not to join the club, would be offered to the 3-bedroom unit buyers. KICA understands that the 21 owners electing to take one of these memberships will have identical rights and privileges as any other Kiawah Island Club member.
For more information on Timbers Resorts, visit timbersresorts.com.
The Town of Kiawah Island and the Kiawah Island Community Association are pleased to inform Kiawah’s residents and property owners that they have reached a tentative agreement with the Kiawah Island Utility, Inc (KIU). and the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff on a proposed rate adjustment for water and sewer service. The settlement will be submitted to the South Carolina Public Service Commission for approval on March 21, 2017.
In late 2016, the utility filed for a rate adjustment that included a 25.6% increase to water and sewer rates. Their proposed increase was intended to reflect their increased costs since their last rate adjustment in 2012, and to recover the significant costs associated with the completion of a new water line connecting the island to the utility’s supplier on Johns Island. Both the town and the community association filed to intervene in the case, concerned about the size of the increase and its impact on property owners.
If ultimately approved, the agreement calls for a 14.6% adjustment to water and sewer rates, significantly lower than the 25.6% requested by KIU. This agreement and the new rates require and are pending final approval by the South Carolina Public Services Commission
According to Kiawah’s mayor, Craig Weaver, “We think this adjustment reflects an equitable agreement for both the utility and Kiawah’s property owners. The utility was urged several years ago to make this investment in a new water line to ensure that residents and businesses had reliable and uninterrupted service. At the same time, it is important that KIU maintain an operating and cost structure that provides residents and businesses on Kiawah with competitive rates and limits the need for rate increases. This agreement is a good example of the benefit of the town and community association working closely together on concerns important to the community.”
Kiawah Island Utility, Inc. is a private company and is the sole provider of water and sewer services to Kiawah Island. Originally owned and operated by Kiawah Development Partners, the company was sold to and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Water Company, headquartered in Sugar Land, TX. Further information will be provided by KIU directly to their customers after a final ruling on the proposed agreement by the South Carolina PSC later this month.
At the March 6 KICA board meeting, Security Director Tony Elder gave an update on current and planned enhancements to association security. These enhancements include new uniforms, new training requirements, updates at the main gate, a new communication system and more.
An in-depth interview with Tony that includes a look at his background, his plans for security, and more information on some of these enhancements, was also recently published in the March issue of Digest.
For other information on KICA Security, visit kica.us/security.
Thank you to all who voted in the 2017 Kiawah Island Community Association Election. You have elected Cathy Pumphrey and Ben Cheatham to three year terms on the KICA Board of Directors. They replace Marilyn Olson and John Connolly, whose terms ended at the Annual Meeting on March 3.
The proposed covenant change to allow KICA additional authority regarding the enforcement of covenants was supported with nearly 80% of voters approving the recommendation, well over the 75% majority needed to pass. However, a covenant change has a larger quorum requirement than a director election. Unfortunately only 56.3% quorum was reached and 60% was needed to pass the amendment.
Voting closed on Friday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. and was tabulated by Vote-Now.com. View a recording and materials from Friday’s annual meeting on kica.us/vote after Tuesday, March 7.