Important News and Announcements from KICA
The six elected members of the KICA Board of Directors previously expressed their opposition to Kiawah Partners' proposal to create vehicular connection between Beachwalker Drive and Duneside Road. For those unfamiliar with the proposal, KICA's prior communication on this matter can be read here. Yesterday, KICA sent a letter to the Town of Kiawah Island Planning Commission that states the following:
March 29, 2018
Town of Kiawah Island Planning Commission
Attn: Fred Peterson, Chairman
4475 Betsy Kerrison Parkway
Kiawah Island, South Carolina 29455
Dear Mr. Peterson and Commission Members,
The April 4, 2018 Planning Commission agenda includes an item related to a final plat associated with Kiawah Partners' development of parcels on the west end of the island. Given the community reaction to this matter, I am certain you are aware of it. The Kiawah Island Community Association elected board previously went on public record expressing their opposition to the substantial change of the final plat, and shares the many concerns that have been expressed by community members.
The purpose of this correspondence, however, is to transmit official notice that the properties in question are encumbered by recorded convents and restrictions. Furthermore, the covenants are contrary to, conflict with, and perhaps even prohibit the permitted activity. South Carolina statute 6-29-1145 states that a planning agency, upon notice of such a conflict, may not issue a permit until it has received confirmation from the applicant that the restrictive covenant has been released for the tract or parcel of land by action of the appropriate authority or property holders or by court order.
KICA's covenants establish a number of functions and responsibilities, including the provision of security services, the operation of guardhouses, the ownership and maintenance of its common properties, and other authorized services. Buyers for 40+ years have relied on these covenants, and property values have most likely benefited from their existence, along with the exclusivity and security provided by a gated community.
Were the Town of Kiawah Island Planning Commission to approve this plat, and approve a second entry point to the island, it would have essentially created a perpetual unfunded mandate for the association and its members to construct and operate a guardhouse. Failure to do so would eliminate controlled access to the island, thereby exposing the association to claims for breaching the functions and responsibilities imposed by the KICA covenants.
In closing, thank you for your service to the community, and please know that I sign this letter on behalf of the six elected members of the KICA board who unanimously support this position.
Jimmy Bailey, Jr.
Chief Operating Officer
Introducing Around Kiawah, KICA's new member-to member email discussion group. Around Kiawah offers a four-in-one platform; subscribe to just one topic category, all four, or anywhere in between. Select from events, classifieds, property services and discussions.
This unmoderated discussion platform will replace the outdated KICA-List platform. Assuming most users of our former KICAList will move to Around Kiawah, there may initially be a slight delay in verifying property ownership. After the initial phase, verification is expected to be prompt. KICA-List will be phased out on May 1, 2018.
For more information or to sign-up for Around Kiawah, visit kica.us/around-kiawah.
The April 2018 Digest is Now Available Online!
In this issue, get details on exciting new enhancements coming to the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, including a new beachfront hotel, conference center, Cougar Point Clubhouse, and other additions. Also, get the latest on the Sandcastle renovations, hear from new KICA Chair Ben Cheatham, learn about Around Kiawah - a new way for members to connect with one another - and more.
In this issue:
- Cover Story: Resort Announces New Hotel, Additional Improvements
- Annual Meeting: New Directors Elected, Covenant Amendment Passes
- Message From New Board Chair Ben Cheatham
- Exciting Progress on The Sandcastle Beach Experience
- April and May Community Events
- Ernst and Young Gifts $20,000 to KCF to Support Students
- Kiawah Cares Wants to Know What You Think
- Learn From the Experts at the Landscape Symposium and Plant Sale
- KICA Launches Around Kiawah, A New Way for Members to Connect
At the March 5 meeting of the KICA Board of Directors, COO Jimmy Bailey reported that the six elected directors are opposed to a recent proposal by Kiawah Partners (KP) to create vehicular access to the island between Beachwalker Drive and Duneside Road. The seventh director is a developer-appointed seat.
KP, which sold an almost 3.5 acre tract near the end of Beachwalker Drive to Timbers Kiawah last year, contends that traffic on Beachwalker Drive prevents convenient access to Timbers and to future developments on Beachwalker, necessitating the connection. Duneside is presently a dead-end road which serves Sparrow Pond and Duneside Cottages. These regimes and others have expressed numerous concerns about traffic, safety and livability issues, and are vigorously opposed to the proposal.
Bailey also stated that a recent Island Connection article reporting that KICA is behind this proposal, and that the Kiawah Island Architectural Review Board (ARB) is a function of KICA, is inaccurate. KICA did not propose these changes, and the ARB remains a function of KP, the master developer.
The proposal is expected to go before the Town of Kiawah Island Planning Commission at its April 4 meeting, which will be at 3 p.m. at Town Hall, 4475 Betsy Kerrison. Check the town's website for meeting agendas, changes, etc.
KICA will continue to update members as information is available.
Thank you to all who voted in the 2018 Kiawah Island Community Association Election. You have elected Mike Feldmann and Sue Schaffer to the KICA Board of Directors.
The proposed covenant change to allow KICA additional authority regarding the enforcement of covenants passed with approximately 90% of voters approving the recommendation.
Online and absentee voting closed on Friday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. In-person votes were also taken at the KICA Annual Meeting on Friday, March 2. Results were tabulated by Vote-Now.com. A recording from the Annual Meeting can be viewed at kica.us/livestream. For details and background on items discussed at the meeting, including board candidates and the covenant amendment, visit kica.us/vote.
The 2018 KICA Annual Meeting will take place today, Friday, March 2 at 2 p.m. at the Kiawah Island Municipal Center Town Hall (4475 Betsy Kerrison Parkway). Attendees will welcome the two incoming directors and hear from board chair Dave Singer, COO Jimmy Bailey and Director of Finance Jane Ovenden.
Three candidates are running for two open member director positions on the KICA board and in-person voting is available to those who have not already cast their ballots. Members are invited to make comments at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting on the proposed Duneside Road extension.
On Feb. 21, Town of Kiawah Island Mayor Craig Weaver issued a statement about a plan by Kiawah Partners (KP) to extend Duneside Road to the Timbers property in West Beach, and create an additional security gate and access point to the island. In his statement, Mayor Weaver indicated that the town's Planning Commission would defer action on the proposal until April, giving all parties, as well as the community, more time to understand the issue and provide input. Read the mayor's statement here.
Opening the road is a reversal of KP's prior commitment that this location would not serve vehicular traffic. KICA's five property owner elected directors met earlier this week by phone to discuss concerns expressed by community members, as well as KICA's role and legal rights associated with this issue. The elected board shares in the frustration and disappointment expressed by many that this has occurred. However, its primary focus is on assessing the traffic, safety and security implications, as well as what legal authority KICA has to influence the situation. In that regard, the deed that conveyed the road to KICA in 1982 includes certain reserved rights for the developer, including the right "to use the aforesaid property for purposes of ingress and egress and the right to cross and recross the said property." View a copy of the deed.
The one month delay announced yesterday by Mayor Weaver gives KICA leadership and the community some time to understand the proposal, and offer input. As KICA continues conversations with Kiawah Partners, we'd like to hear from you. We invite members to make comments at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting next Friday, March 2 at 2 p.m. Please note that due to construction at The Sandcastle, the meeting is being held at the new Town Hall on Betsy Kerrison. All board members and key staff will be in attendance, and it will be a good time to offer your perspectives. Like many of you, we're still trying to understand the implications associated with this.
Members may vote online for KICA board candidates AND a proposed covenant amendment until 5 p.m. on Feb. 23. To cast your vote online or to check if your paper ballot has been processed, visit vtnw.com/go/KICA/
In order to vote, you will need your registration code. This code can be found on your voting materials, which were emailed/mailed to primary members on Jan. 23. If you are a primary member who did not receive this email, contact email@example.com or 843-768-9194.
Stick to your resolution in 2018 with island fitness options. KICA is excited to announce that the temporary fitness center, located at 2 Beachwalker Drive next the Kiawah General Store, is NOW OPEN.
Fitness center hours are:
Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
In the effort to open the facility as soon as possible, current procedures are subject to change. One instructor or member services representative will be onsite during the hours of operation.
- Facility users ages 13 to 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Users ages 16 and 17 may be unaccompanied.
- As there is no lobby, allow earlier fitness classes to exit before entering for the next fitness class.
- Log your visit to the facility in sign-in log next to the entrance. This provides KICA with important information on usage.
- There is no towel service at this location. Please provide your own.
For questions about KICA fitness options, contact KICA Recreation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-768-3875.
At the upcoming 2018 KICA Annual Meeting, scheduled for Friday, March 2 at 2 p.m. at the Kiawah Island Municipal Center Town Hall, three candidates are running for two open member director positions on the KICA board.
Get to know each of the three candidates through the video interviews linked below. For more details on each candidate, visit kica.us/vote.
Voting materials will be emailed and hard copies mailed to primary members Jan. 23. 2018. Annual Meeting materials include a message from the board and nominating committee chairs, information on candidates, details on a proposed covenant amendment, and more.
Did you know you can pay your annual assessment online for no additional fee? Payment for this assessment is securely processed by Payment Service Network (PSN).
In this issue, get introduced to the 2018 candidates for KICA's Board of Directors, take an inside look at the association's Security operations, learn how you can voice your opinion on KICA Security, and more!
On Thursday, Dec. 7, representatives from KICA, Kiawah Partners (KP) and the Kiawah Conservancy officially signed and executed the Parcel Trade Agreement. The agreement was approved by vote of the membership in September, with 87% of the voters supporting the trade.
Representatives from KICA, KP and the Conservancy Signed the Parcel Trade Agreement on Dec. 7, 2017.
"We would like to thank everyone who helped make this trade a reality," said KICA COO Jimmy Bailey. "This agreement is not just beneficial to KICA, but to the entire Kiawah community."
Part of the agreement included KP granting the Kiawah Conservancy a favorable purchase option on a 6.2-acre parcel directly across from Kiawah Island Real Estate that has zoning and development rights for 19 units. As was announced by the Conservancy earlier today (view full announcement), they have officially raised enough funds to purchase the land.
"We would like to congratulate the Conservancy and the community for raising the necessary funds to protect this parcel of land," said Bailey. "This transaction, along with the two parcels acquired by KICA through the vote, will help protect the entrance to our island in perpetuity."
For more details and background on the Parcel Trade agreement, visit kica.us/parceltrade.
Construction at The Sandcastle is really coming along! We were lucky enough to get a look at the progress on Thursday, Dec. 7. The majority of work so far has been focussed on the entry way and first floor fitness space (which is being completely reimagined to add additional space and eventually provide gorgeous ocean views!).
The KICA Nominating Committee recommends three candidates, Mike Feldmann, Sue Schaffer and Michael Talbert, in the upcoming directors election. Though only two director positions will be open, the committee feels that all candidates can bring skill and purpose to the board and, as the board does not have a specific gap in skill set for the coming year, it is reasonable to put forward all three candidates to members.
Mike Feldmann first came to Kiawah in 1996 and has been an owner since 1998. He currently spends about half his time on the island. Mike believes some of the critical areas “essential to anchoring Kiawah as a special place, a unique island community” include “preserving Kiawah’s natural resources and beauty; maintaining and enhancing the rich and varied lifestyle options of Kiawah; allocating KICA resources and capital efficiently.”
Sue Schaffer first came to Kiawah in 1980 and has been an owner since 1988, spending more than 30% of her time on-island. She has served on multiple KICA committees and the board of directors in the past, and is a long-time feature writer for Kiawah Island Digest. Sue believes "the board should no longer be looking only to the near future." She plans to "help KICA adapt to and shape island changes; seek new ways to keep income stable and costs under control; and promote open dialogue in the community."
Michael Talbert first came to Kiawah in 1985 and has been an owner since 2015. He currently spends about 40% of his time on Kiawah and plans to become a full-time resident. Michael plans "to work to protect Kiawah's natural resources, insure that future development dovetails with the natural beauty, and enhance human interaction with the natural resources to preserve the Kiawah experience."
More opportunities to learn about the candidates will be available soon, including full profiles and statements of focus, recorded interviews and a Meet the Candidates event on Feb. 8, 2018.
In this issue, take an in-depth look at the history and future of The Sandcastle, get insight into KICA's 2018 budget, find out how you can help our Sea Island neighbors with Kiawah Cares, get details on all the great holiday events happening on Kiawah, and more!
KICA COO Jimmy Bailey presented the 2018 budget for approval at the Nov. 6 board meeting. This presentation highlighted the variety of concerns and considerations taken into account during budget creation.
Hear Jimmy Bailey's comments and explanations of the presentation by watching on the KICA YouTube Channel.
In this issue, take an in-depth look at the history of The Sandcastle, get details on the renovations at The Sandcastle as well as information on fitness alternatives for members, check out real estate trends on the island, and more.
Loggerhead sea turtle nesting season is in full swing. Nesting activity typically begins in mid-May, and female turtles will continue coming ashore to nest until August. Nests will begin hatching in July and finish by October.
During nesting season, it’s important that we do all we can to protect this threatened species from any further perils. To avoid unintentional harm to these beautiful creatures, follow these tips during nesting season:
-If your property is visible from the beach, turn out all exterior lights (flood and deck) from dusk to dawn.
-If any interior lights are visible from the beach or cast light on the beach, close blinds or drapes at 9 p.m. or turn them off.
-Flashlights should not be used on the beach at night during nesting season. Do not carry flashlights or play flashlight tag on the beach.
-Fill in large holes dug on the beach at the end of the day, as adults and hatchling sea turtles can become trapped in them.
-Observe sea turtles quietly from a distance - never disturb a nesting sea turtle or hatchlings.
-Do not shine lights on a sea turtle, including cell phones and flash photography.
Help keep Kiawah special and our turtles safe by following these guidelines or sharing them with family, friends and vacation rental guests. Learn more about Kiawah’s Loggerhead population.
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).
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:
Alligators are a common sight on Kiawah Island and can be found in just about every pond on the island. Almost everyone who lives, works or visits our island has seen these animals. Now that spring is here, alligators have become much more active and visible and have resumed feeding after the cold winter months. While alligators can appear lethargic and docile, they are capable of great speed, power and agility, especially when pursuing prey.
In early April, an alligator on the western end of the island caught and killed a dog that had escaped from a nearby home. This unfortunate incident is a staunch reminder that alligators are potentially dangerous animals and should always be treated with respect. It is also a reminder to keep pets on a leash at all times on the island (as required by Town Ordinance) and to keep them away from ponds and pond edges.
In light of the recent incident, we ask that all island residents and visitors review and adhere to the following safety rules for alligators listed below. We have also included a short FAQ with answers to the most common questions regarding alligators on Kiawah Island.
Alligator Safety Rules
-Never approach an alligator. Maintain a distance of 60 feet from alligators unless on an elevated dock or boardwalk.
-Do not feed alligators.
-Do not poke, prod, throw things at or otherwise harass alligators.
-Do not throw fish scraps or bait into ponds when fishing or crabbing.
-Keep children and pets out of ponds and away from pond edges.
-Do not approach alligator nests or hatchlings. Female alligators are very vigilant and protective of their young.
-Do not retrieve golf balls that land in ponds or near an alligator; take a drop.
-Do not attempt to pick up or handle an alligator for any reason.
Frequently Asked Questions
How common are dog/alligator incidents on Kiawah Island?
Uncommon. Over the last 20 years, Kiawah has averaged about one incident every three years. Most incidents have occurred when dogs accidentally, or unknowingly, escaped from their owners and entered ponds or approached a pond edge.
How common are human/alligator incidents on Kiawah Island?
Alligators do not view people as prey and incidents are extremely rare. There have been two minor incidents on Kiawah Island in the last 40 years. Both of these incidents could have been easily avoided if safety rules had been followed. Statewide, there have been a number of documented incidents, but never a fatality.
How many alligators live on Kiawah Island?
Approximately 600 - 700 alligators live on Kiawah. Kiawah’s alligator population is allowed to fluctuate naturally and has remained stable over the last 10 years. It is safe to assume that there is at least one alligator, usually more, in every water body on the island.
What is a nuisance alligator?
A nuisance alligator is an individual alligator that has become a significant public safety risk. This typically occurs when an alligator has been fed and has lost its inherent fear of people. All reports of nuisance alligators are evaluated by island biologists. If the alligator meets the nuisance alligator criteria, it is captured and killed using "nuisance" tags issued by SCDNR. There is no other harvest or removal of alligators on Kiawah Island.
If an alligator approaches me while fishing or crabbing what should I do?
Use caution and remove your lines from the water. If an alligator is hooked on your line, cut the line immediately. Report the incident to the Town of Kiawah Island (843-768-9166) during normal business hours or to KICA Security (843-768-5566) at all other times.
Why are alligators important to Kiawah Island?
Alligators have been on earth for almost 100 million years and are a vital part of the delicate Kiawah Island ecosystem. Young alligators provide food for many species of birds and mammals, larger alligators help control populations of prey species, and abandoned “gator holes” or wallows provide critical freshwater habitat for countless species of animals. Their presence is an indicator of the health of the island’s lakes and ponds and the island itself.
Did you know KICA offers, at request only, the expertise of its irrigation technicians for basic backflow testing and repairs?
Backflow prevention devices are used to protect potable water supplies from contamination or pollution due to backflow. Kiawah Island Utility requires residential water systems be tested every two years to ensure that they are working properly.
Please note that this is a service offered on-demand by KICA. To receive a backflow inspection, you must contact KICA and schedule the service in advance.
Cost of Services
Request Backflow Certification Services
Email email@example.com or call 843-768-9194 to schedule an appointment. Services will be billed to your existing KICA member account and invoiced to you.
These updates are sent via email weekly and as needed to all property owners and provide news updates and event information for the coming week and beyond. Subscribe to these updates.
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KICA sends text alerts as necessary for very important news only, including severe weather, safety precautions, security alerts, etc. KICA text alerts are sent from 24587 (a mobile short code).
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