From The Blog

Maze of K’s: The Town of Kiawah Island

This article was collaboratively written with the Town of Kiawah Island.

Established in 1988 by the State of South Carolina, the Town of Kiawah Island (TOKI) is led by the newly elected Mayor Bradley Belt, as well as town council and Town Administrator Stephanie Tillerson. Dedicated to enhancing the quality of life, the town’s mission is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the community, including residents, visitors, and businesses. The town engages with and provides for the community in a variety of ways including:


Maintaining the Town’s Public Infrastructure

TOKI manages various essential services. This includes partnerships with Trident Waste Services for weekly garbage and recycling collection, and Artigues Landscaping to beautify key areas along the Kiawah Island Parkway, from the Freshfields Village roundabout to the intersection of Beachwalker Drive, and along Beachwalker Drive. Additionally, the town oversees the upkeep of state-owned beaches and public infrastructure, including Town Hall.


Ensuring Building Compliance

The town safeguards architectural standards and the safety of Kiawah buildings by issuing permits and conducting inspections to ensure structural integrity and compliance with island codes.


Regulating Business and Short-Term Rental Licensing

The town actively regulates and issues business and short-term rental licenses. The town’s Code Enforcement officers ensure compliance with all local ordinances.


Promoting Public Safety

TOKI is responsible for Kiawah Island public safety. The town contracts security services through the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, working in close collaboration with the town’s Public Safety Director, Beach Patrol, KICA and resort Security teams, and St. Johns Fire Department.

In times of crisis, such as during tropical storms or hurricanes, the town coordinates with local entities and disseminates crucial information via CodeRED notifications to ensure community preparedness and safety.


Promoting Quality of Life

Through the Arts and Cultural Events Council, the town hosts an array of performances and concerts annually, to enrich the community’s cultural landscape and encourage artistic engagement.


Protecting Wildlife

TOKI’s commitment to wildlife is showcased through well-known initiatives such as the Turtle Patrol Program and biologist Jim Jordan’s significant research into the island’s bobcat populations. The town offers many unique volunteer programs that allow residents to give back, while acting as stewards of the local wildlife. These efforts not only protect Kiawah’s natural heritage but also ensure its sustainability for future generations.


Managing the Town’s Planning and Zoning

The town manages zoning regulations and land use planning with a focus on environmental protection and sustainable development.

At the heart of the town’s governance is a robust system of civic engagement. Through municipal meetings, public forums, and citizen advisory committees, the town invites residents to voice their opinions and participate in shaping the future of Kiawah Island.


Learn More

Visit the town’s website and read more about their community services at