Pond-Edge Pruning Project Underway

KICA’s Lakes Management team has put together a multi-year project for the health of the island’s pond system, which serves as the master drainage system for the island. Over the years, the vegetation around some of the ponds has grown significantly, becoming problematic for both water quality and drainage. The goal of this project is to improve pond health and water quality while optimizing the drainage function of the pond system.

The ponds scheduled for 2019 have been selected with the following conditions in mind:
• significant quantities of live and dead debris present in or growing out over the water,
• a history of poor water quality issues, to include fish kills and/or hydrogen sulfide events,
• or they are part of the Beachwalker drainage basin, the main artery for water flow for one of the island’s largest drainage basins.

KICA has spent significant funds over the past several years working on the Beachwalker drainage basin, both in pipe repair and spot excavation. Cutting back overgrowth in pond vegetation is another step in protecting our financial investment in this drainage basin.
For 2019, the project will occur in the following ponds:
• Pond 24 – at Bittern Court, Red Bay Road, Palm Warbler Road and Catbrier Court, along Cougar Point Golf Course holes 12 and 13.
• Pond 27 – at Amaranth Road and Green Winged Teal Road, the Oceanwoods neighborhood and the Sora Rail Road utility area.
• Pond 29 – by the Night Heron Cottages neighborhood and the Sora Rail Road utility area.
• Pond 30 – by 71 and 73 Salthouse Lane and the Kiawah Island Parkway.

The project began in April with pond 24, where the general scope of work focused on the cutting and removal of vegetation falling into the pond. After pond 24, the contractor will move to pond 27, followed by ponds 29 and 30.

KICA’s contractor will be working within the pond and within our easement area. 95% of what will be targeted for this work are wax myrtles that are growing out over the ponds.

Our contractor will cut back canopy which has closed in over areas of the selected ponds, in order to permit sunlight back to the pond, as well as cut back overgrown shoreline vegetation which is depositing debris in the pond. KICA does not intend to impact screening vegetation for homes. KICA’s contractor will be working within the island’s normal commercial hours.

If you have questions about this project, contact KICA biologist Matt Hill at Matt.Hill@kica.us or 843-768-2315.


Roadwork Underway at the Vanderhorst Gate

Lane Closed for Repairs – Beginning Monday, Jan. 28

Starting Monday, Jan. 28, the inbound left lane at the Vanderhorst gate will be closed in order to even the surface of the road by replacing the brick pavers. All traffic will be directed to the outside lane. This lane repair is anticipated to take two weeks, as the bricks and mortar must set before traffic can drive over it. This will require security staff to stand away from the gate house, near the right lane, so please approach slowly and use caution. During inclement weather, Security staff will be stationed inside the gate house in order to respond to issues or questions.

Once the inbound left lane is complete, the inbound right lane will be repaired. Again, it will require the lane to be closed for approximately two weeks. During this second part of the project, the gate will be fully staffed.

Thank you for your patience, as we work to complete this project during our off-season. Please drive with extra care near the V-gate in the coming weeks.


Welcome to the Newly-Renovated Sandcastle

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After eight months of renovations, The Sandcastle is welcoming members back. Stop by to have a dip in the beautiful oceanfront pool or the refreshed family pool, take a fitness class with an ocean view, or enjoy a relaxing beverage at the new bar. The Castle Grille and Sandbar are serving delicious food and beachy beverages by Cru Catering.

While the majority of the facility is open, a few components will have a phased opening:

– The new bath house adjacent to the adult pool will remain under construction for at least a more weeks. The bath house at the family pool will be open.

– Boardwalk 8B will remain closed until the bath house construction is complete. Boardwalk 8A is open.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate The Sandcastle’s official grand opening is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.


Boardwalk Policy Update for High Density Areas

During Hurricane Matthew, KICA received damage to 23 of its 25 boardwalks. Our general maintenance team was able to get some of these boardwalks re-opened with minor repairs. The timeline for boardwalks requiring extensive repairs is somewhat longer, though all involved have been extremely cooperative in order to expedite this important work.

KICA uses a consulting structural engineer to ensure what we build is safe and will withstand many years of “normal” wear and tear. Once that work is complete, it then goes through the approval process with the Architectural Review Board (ARB) and the Town of Kiawah Island (TOKI). This ensures TOKI’s ordinances are followed, as well as the regulations imposed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (SC DHEC-OCRM).

Current Status

We initially placed the priority on boardwalks in the area of Eugenia Avenue to Windswept, as this was an area where KICA had no open boardwalks.

– As of Feb. 15, KICA has completed construction on boardwalks 8A, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.
– We just received approvals on 7, 10, 29, 31 and 33, and are proceeding to contract shortly.
– Our other boardwalks remain in design.

KICA has been and will continue to send weekly updates on its boardwalk repairs in the Thursday email update to the membership. (Access the Beach With Safety)

Policies and Regulations

In building the beach boardwalks, KICA adheres to design regulations specified by the ARB, TOKI and SC DHEC-OCRM. To comply with these regulations, boardwalks must meet the beach perpendicular to the shore and within 10 feet of the primary dune. In the five years preceding the storm, we had rebuilt 22 of our boardwalks (approx. $1 million) and were fortunate that significant accretion of the beach resulted in a dune profile suitable for ramps in most locations. Unfortunately, those dunes are gone – along with the bulk of the previous five years’ investment. This loss has necessitated we use steps as a repair solution in many locations.

We are not permitted, under normal regulations, to run a boardwalk parallel to the shore and dune line, and must seek an exception for this type of construction. Our preference is to build ramps perpendicular to the shore where the dune profile accommodates this type of design; however, Hurricane Matthew has caused us to consider new guidelines that provide an objective way to determine where exceptions should be considered.

One of those new guidelines considers the density of property located near a boardwalk. Areas where larger than average numbers of KICA member properties are concentrated in close proximity will be given extra consideration for ramps. This will result in our applying for ramps at boardwalks 8B, 22, and 27.  As the map image below indicates, these are high density areas and we believe exceptions are warranted:

High Density Boardwalk Locations