As KICA’s amenities process moves forward, questions have been raised regarding the association’s legal right to provide certain amenities at Rhett’s Bluff. To clarify KICA’s rights, association board Chair Dave Schoenholz contacted Marvin Infinger from the Charleston-based Nexsen Pruitt Law Firm to provide expert legal counsel on the matter. Infinger, an award-winning lawyer with over 30 years of experience, responded on March 18, 2015 with the following letter as well as a full memorandum detailing his position.
March 18, 2015
Kiawah Island Community Association
23 Beachwalker Drive
Kiawah Island, SC 29455
You have asked for a short memorandum concerning the right to provide certain amenities to Rhett’s Bluff Boat Landing. This you believe is necessary in light of certain mailings of a committee organized to oppose the improvements. The attached memorandum is a basic and simple refutation of the committee’s position. This short paper hits at the heart of the issue, but is by no means an exhaustive analysis. It attempts to show that the property is for the benefit of all members of KICA, that the tract was conveyed as common property to KICA carries with it this requirement that it benefit all members, and that never was this 6.5-acre property on the Kiawah River considered to be unimprovable so as to “benefit” the residents of Rhett’s Bluff at the expense of the entire membership of KICA, whose enjoyment may be enhanced through amenity improvements.
With best regards I am,
Marvin D. Infinger
Highlights of Infinger’s memorandum include:
-KRA and the KICA board made clear its Rhett’s Bluff policy in 1995 shortly after conveyance, reiterating its purpose as a place for the entire island and rejecting attempts at further restriction.
-The May 2014 letter from Town of Kiawah Island Mayor Charlie Lipuma is irrelevant because the town has since revised its position after consultation with KICA’s lawyer and further deliberation.
-The intended KICA use of Rhett’s Bluff is entirely consistent with the conveyance deed, KICA’s governing documents and South Carolina law.
-The developer did not intend to restrict the use of Rhett’s Bluff in the deed as evidenced by the permissive language. Where the developer wanted to restrict usage, such as Little Bear Island, they used very specific language. The absence of such language, coupled with the 1995 policy and the developer’s use of property after conveyance, points to an intent to allow multiple recreational uses.