From The Blog

The Basics of Commercial Gate Access for Your Service Providers, Contractors and Deliveries

The Kiawah Island Community Association manages all Kiawah Island gate access, including access for commercial businesses like your service providers, contractors, delivery companies, etc. Since Kiawah is a private island, access is carefully managed and all commercial entities must pay a fee to enter the island, even if a member has requested their services. Enacted at the 1994 KICA Annual Meeting, the commercial access fee was a way to augment funding for the maintenance and upkeep of the island’s private roads.

Commercial businesses are responsible for obtaining a one-day gate pass (rates are $12 for 4-wheel vehicles, $25 for 6 wheels, and $55 for over 6) or an annual vehicle decal (rates start at $170) before access to the island is granted. This process also requires the driver to show a valid driver’s license and a current vehicle registration and insurance. A commercial access pass authorizes a vehicle to enter the island and proceed to the submitted address for service. If a commercial vehicle is visiting multiple locations, each location should be authorized by KICA’s security team. Once a pass is obtained, commercial access is only permitted Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. If these hours are abused, KICA can revoke access to the business. 

Be sure to talk to your service providers, contractors, movers, etc. about gate access before they come to the island, as not all companies may be familiar with Kiawah’s gate access policies or fees. You can refer them to kica.us/commercial/ for access rates and vehicle decal forms, and all gate access information for the island can be found at kica.us/gate.

By default, the business is responsible for paying for their gate access, although a member can call Security (843-768-5566) or email ([email protected]) in advance to authorize payment for the business’s one-day access to be charged to their member account. Some businesses that aren’t familiar with Kiawah’s gate access policies may be unprepared and unwilling to pay. In this case, the member requesting their services is contacted to see if they would like to pay on behalf of the business. Members have the right to authorize payment and access, or refuse payment and access.

Many large local companies purchase decals for their fleet of vehicles, and may already have annual gate access. Some companies or types of businesses, like FedEx, charities and home health aides, are exempt from commercial fees and are granted access during commercial hours, but it’s always best to check with the business first to see if they have access, or will need to get a pass.

The income from commercial gate access is substantial (KICA estimates just over $1.7 million for 2022. As of May 31, the association had received $847,868 in 2022.) and the majority of it funds road repairs, as the traffic from commercial customers incurs wear and tear on our island’s private roads. Commercial vehicles with six or more wheels pay more for access than a vehicle with four wheels, as the larger vehicles are heavier and have a greater impact on the condition of roadways. A small portion of the commercial gate access income also funds the administrative side of managing commercial access operations.

Remember, visit kica.us/gate for all gate access information and our Security department is available 24/7 to answer your questions or assist you with gate access for your requested service providers or guests.