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From The Blog

Strategic Planning Moves Forward

The 2011 strategic planning process will focus on action, and to that end, the KICA board has renamed the committee the Strategic Planning Execution Committee (SPEC). At the May meeting, the first since the March board election, the committee examined the four areas of concentration for the coming year, each of which has been assigned a task force: the Sea Islands Greenway, Kiawah’s Public Image, Improved Amenities and Services, and West Beach Looking to the Future. After a brief presentation by the chairs of the task forces in the first three areas, the committee proceeded with an extended discussion of the fourth.

Sea Islands Greenway
KICA supports construction of the Greenway because it will improve safety, relieve road congestion, increase economic opportunity, be environmentally sound, and be the most cost effective and least disruptive option for improving Johns Island roads. Johns Island has 19,000 approved new housing units and no new roads to support them. The Greenway would give Johns Island residents easier access to jobs in other communities and would improve access for sea islands workers.

Previous KICA board member Dr. Paul Roberts, who had been serving as roads consultant to the town of Kiawah (TOKI), is now working on this issue. Furthermore, the Kiawah and Seabrook towns and community associations and the Beach Company have engaged a consultant to improve the relationship with Johns Island residents and build support for the Greenway.

Kiawah’s Public Image
This task force will execute programs to improve Kiawah’s image in the local area and beyond, and its treatment by the media. It is compiling a description of contributions association members
make to the greater community. Long-term plans could include the formation of a Kiawah philanthropic foundation and a Kiawah political action committee. The task force recommends that KICA hire a public relations specialist—individual or firm. KICA staff will gather information on groups and individuals who are generous with their time and wealth, to encourage their support.

Improved Amenities and Services
This task force will look at other premier communities to determine what amenities and services one should provide, where Kiawah needs to improve and the cost of doing so. It will examine what the various Kiawah management entities and recreational and social organizations already provide, the existing future plans for each group, and whether any of these groups provide any services
or amenities that are unnecessarily duplicative. From all this information will come a broad picture of a complete and first class Kiawah. The task force will then recommend specific changes and goals.

West Beach:
Looking to the Future
“West Beach, which stretches from the main gate to Sora Rail Road (see map with West Beach: Looking to the Future article below), and the ocean to the Kiawah River, sports the oldest development on Kiawah. Large tracts of land remain to be developed in both West and East Beach. Aging structures and landscaping have opportunities for updating to maintain uniform charm and appeal.

Other groups that will be involved in the development process include the KICA Covenant Compliance Committee, the Architectural Review Board, TOKI, and the developer (KDP). KICA seeks to be the leader of these groups. To that end, the association has engaged architect and town planner Mark Permar as consultant. The association goal is to have input into development and redevelopment and to influence the general appearance of West Beach, before any plans are final.

As prelude to the work of this task force, Mark led a lively brainstorming and discussion session of the SPEC at the May meeting. Members considered how to communicate development goals to association members; how best to learn about members’ needs and wishes; potential roadblocks to redevelopment; special concerns related to a membership that is 80% part-time; achieving “buy-in” of members who will bear the cost of improvements; the cumbersomeness of the current improvement process and ways to simplify it; what can be done now, before new development begins; and other issues.

Specific plans considered included a dedicated section on the newly designed KICA website, perhaps with a virtual tour; creating a “work studio” somewhere, such as the Straw Market, to display plans and post updates; activities to inform members of needed changes, such as a bike tour; and soliciting neighborhood representation.