Ways and Means and Town Council Recaps

Feb. 6 Ways and Means Committee Meeting Recap
The following are announcements from the meeting:

Town Council approved:

  • The 2024 Off-Duty Deputy Contract with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office
  • Barrier Island Ocean Rescue contract agreement for short-term code enforcement services

Finance Director Dorota Szubert provided the monthly budget report, which included actuals for the first seven months, ending on January 31, 2024. The Town’s consolidated revenues of $8.2 million are 20 percent or $1.6 million higher when compared to the year-to-date for the last fiscal year and are at 53 percent of the total amended budgeted revenues for the current year. Overall, the revenues are within the budget. The expenditures of $5.9 million are 4 percent, or $246,000 higher than fiscal 2023 and 35 percent of the current year budget. The majority of the expenditures are reasonable and in line with the amended budget, with the exception of the non-budgeted cost for the recent storm cleanup of $38,000.

The full meeting is available for viewing here.

Feb. 6 Town Council Meeting Recap
The following are announcements from the meeting:

Town Council recognized retired St. John’s Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Jackie Stanley for his 43 years of dedicated service to St. John’s Fire District and the Town of Kiawah Island, and proclaimed February, 6, 2024, as Deputy Chief Jackie Stanley Day. Stanley served as the first African American deputy fire chief for the St. John’s Fire Department.

PFAS Update
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Kiawah Island Utility representatives provided a presentation on PFAS in the state. DHEC developed its PFAS Drinking Water Strategy with the goal to sample all community water systems sources in the state; the sample results are available on their website here: https://scdhec.gov/.

Beach Monitoring
Coastal Science and Engineering President Steven Traynum provided an update on 2023 beach monitoring for Kiawah Island. Overall, the island is healthy, and is benefiting from sand from the north beaches. Past beach projects include a restoration project in 2006, which realigned the inlet and provided beach restoration; and there was a Captain Sam’s Inlet relocation in 2015. There have been about 30 storms impacting the coasts in the last decade, which is significantly larger than previous decades, with seven declared FEMA disasters. Sea level rise has also increased. Some key events that have had impact include the shoal attachment at the east end of the island near Ocean Course, Hurricane Idalia, and the December 2023 Nor’easter, which was the fourth highest water level on record.

There are higher rates of erosion on the island’s beaches overall observed since 2015. Eugenia Avenue and Mariners Watch are the most vulnerable to erosion, due to the lack of sufficient sand being naturally replenished to make up for the sand loss. West Beach and Turtle Point, two developed areas on the island, have been stable regarding lost sand volume. Traynum recommended applying for an east end channel realignment permit to enact if specific beach conditions are met, to protect the integrity of the Ocean Course property.

Dune and Walkovers Update
Town Biologist Jim Jordan provided an update on the dunes and private and community walkovers on the island. Walking in the dunes is not allowed seaward of the setback line except for official business, golf play, and areas in front of beach walkovers. There are 189 total dune walkovers on the island, which includes community and private walkovers. As of January 30, 2024, there are 47 community walkovers with six that are not in compliance with the Town standards and 142 private walkovers with 14 that are not in compliance with the Town standards. Town staff will be notifying owners of the non-compliant walkovers so corrections and repairs can be made.

Town Council directed staff to provide additional details on the walkovers for further discussion at their retreat in May 2024.

Beachwalker Projects Update
Weston and Sampson Project Environmental Scientist Lucas Hernadez provided Beachwalker project updates on their site plan peer review on the West End and Ocean Pines, as well as Cape Point parking and emergency access. Their peer review process assessed general bylaw compliance, site plan layout, constructability, and stormwater management.

Weston and Sampson reviewed the West End at Beachwalker for expected land alterations, existing conditions at the proposed entrance to development, alterations to natural drainage patterns, and proposed drainage tie-ins to existing infrastructure. They provided recommendations are having a 25-year storm event plan, stormwater management plan to prevent the pollution of urban runoff and stormwater, confirmation of water surface elevation at Pond 1, and outfall stabilization. Town Council requested a review of the landscape buffer at the Church Parcel and Parcel 9; and Parcel 11 and at the Community Association.  

Regarding the Ocean Pines site plan, Weston and Samson reviewed expected land alterations, existing conditions at the proposed entrance to the development, alterations to natural drainage patterns, and proposed drainage tie-ins to existing infrastructure. There were 86 parking spaces provided between the Ocean Pines site and the Cape Point Emergency Beach Access project with 14 additional needed to meet the requirement.

In their review, they reported that for the Cape Point parking emergency beach access, there is a proposed driveway with control gates to be installed, 20 parking spaces to supplement for Cape Point and a variance would be required, and the right-of-way is currently owned and maintained by Kiawah Resort Associates, L.P.

Currently, the proposed developments are still under site plan review with the Town’s Planning Department; and Weston and Sampson provided their recommendations, and these are included in the comments to the applicant. Prior to any site plan review approval, any required variances, which must be applied for by the applicant, would need to be approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals and all comments addressed. At this time, no application has been submitted.

To view Weston and Sampson’s presentation to Town Council, click here.

The full reports of Weston and Sampson’s review can be found on the links below:


The following were approved by Town Council:

  • The second and final reading of Ordinance 2024-03 to amend the fiscal 2023-2024 budget for the Town.
  • The second and final reading of Ordinance 2024-03 to Article 8 Health and Sanitation, Chapter 1 General Provisions, Section 8-112 Yard Debris.
  • The 2024 Off-Duty Deputy Contract with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Appointment of Michael Heidingsfelder as Mayor Pro Tempore.
  • The first reading of Ordinance 2024-01 to amend Chapter 12 Land Use Planning and Zoning Ordinance to establish tree preservation and landscaping standards.
  • One month agreement with the Barrier Island Ocean Rescue Contact Agreement for Short-Term Rental Code Enforcement Services.
  • A request for proposals for a feasibility study of the Town’s Law Enforcement Services.
  • The employment of a video production specialist within the Communications Department.
  • The employment of a landscape architect/arborist within the Planning Department.
  • The engagement of a third-party inspector.
  • 2024 Committee Appointments for Environmental Committee, Public Safety Committee, SATAX Committee, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Planning Commission.

The full meeting is available for viewing here.