From The Blog

KICA Core Functions: Livability

KICA’s Livability Department was created in 2013 to protect and enhance the Kiawah brand, homeowners’ well-being and island property values. It handles the functions of encroachment, covenant compliance, and safety related to all island work projects, from small repairs to private homes to large commercial projects such as the resort’s West Beach construction. Livability also bridges the work of the developer-owned Architectural Review Board (ARB), which controls construction and landscaping improvements, and KICA, monitors existing structures and landscape.

Every project on Kiawah that affects structures, land or landscaping, except power washing – whether interior or exterior, large or small – requires a KICA encroachment permit. The purpose of the KICA encroachment permit is to ensure KICA rules are adhered to and KICA property is restored post-construction. KICA does not charge a fee for these permits, although the Town of Kiawah Island charges for some projects and the ARB charges a minimum $100 for any exterior work. The permits enable Livability staff to observe all work on the island and ensure that it meets Kiawah standards. KICA issued around 1,700 permits in the first half of 2018, many through a new online portal launched in November 2017.

Encroachment functions ensure that projects by utilities, contractors and homeowners are properly permitted and conform to KICA and ARB regulations, and that work sites are clean and neighborhoods are impacted as little as possible. Livability Director Ed Monahan handles encroachment functions, and works closely with the utility companies to ensure prompt, efficient service. All Kiawah utilities run within KICA rights-of-way and easements, giving KICA oversight responsibilities. Ed is notified of all service outages and can successfully intervene with utility companies that do not provide satisfactory service for KICA customers. During emergency situations, such as major storms, the utilities keep him informed; Berkeley Electric updated him hourly during last fall’s tropical storm.

Dana Muckelvaney handles most covenant compliance functions, ensuring that island structures and properties conform to the KICA covenants and rules. For example, she will contact a KICA member whose dwelling or property begins to look unkempt and work with the homeowner to correct deficiencies.

Sarah Church is responsible for safety issues, related to safety on KICA properties and on job sites. She also maintains all safety records related to KICA employee safety and any accidents which happen on KICA properties. Her responsibilities can overlap with those of the Security Department.

The mingled and mutually supportive relationship that Ed has nurtured over the last four years with the ARB is important for KICA. Ed holds KICA’s seat on the ARB and is a voting member of the board. As part of the cooperation between ARB and KICA, and ARB’s eventual transition to KICA control, KICA contributes to the staff salary of one ARB employee. This employee works closely with KICA Livability on ARB compliance issues. Both organizations use the same software program, CitizenServe, and through it the staffs keep abreast of what both organizations are doing. Any staff member who notices an issue in the field can record it in CitizenServe and assign it to the appropriate category or person. Livability also works well with the town. The town is currently reviewing options to replace its current permitting software and CitizenServe is one of the options being reviewed.

Regimes on Kiawah have their own boards and management. They do their own encroachment, compliance and safety work, but Livability staff troubleshoot and assist regimes when necessary.

Livability staff would like to be seen as the “last stop.” They will handle any KICA member’s question without referring the member elsewhere. “If you don’t know who to call,” said Ed, “call me. I only want people to have to make one call. The quality of life for our members is job one.”