Jan 19 2012

Kiawah Island Town Council- January 10, 2012

By Kevin O’Haire

The Meeting was convened promptly at 2.00 p.m. The Roll was called and all Members reported present. The Minutes from the Meeting held on December 6, 2011 were then offered for approval. With two minor amendments, the Minutes were approved unanimously. There were no citizens’ comments or presentations.

Old Business:

A. There was a second reading of Ordinance 2011-08 concerning business licenses. The motion was approved unanimously.

B. Following the recommendation of the Ways and Means Committee, which met earlier in the day, the Council unanimously approved the Greenbelt Funds Contractor Selection in the amount of $120,361.00 in order to complete Phases I and II of the project. J.A Rauch Construction Co. was selected as the qualified bidder after submitting a revised proposal of $143,900.00. The measure passed unanimously. The project now includes a shore access and Beachwalker Pond components.

C. GovQA-Communications Tool Selection. The Council approved by a vote of 4-1a contract to upgrade the Town’s communications network to include blast e-mails to residents and a variety of other web-based
applications. The project has a one-time cost of $3,000. There is a monthly service fee of $395.00.

D. Final Approval of the Municipal Center ADA Improvements. The Council unanimously improved to go out to bid for the project.

New Business:

A. First Reading of Ordinance 2012-01 Short Term Rentals. The Council engaged in a lengthy discussion of this item concerning the governance of short-term rentals on the Island by homeowners. Town Attorney
Dennis Rhoad provided some background to the measure, as well as its legislative history. He questioned its placement in the Municipal Code, saying he felt it was more of a behavioral matter than a usage or zoning issue, and therefore the Ordinance is miscast in its current placement. Mr. Rhoad indicated that the Ordinance should properly reside in Article 4 of the Code. Several members then questioned the enforcement efforts devoted to this and other Ordinances. It was ultimately decided that a review and “re-organization”of the entire Code was called for. Mr. Rhoad was directed to report back to the Council at the next meeting with his progress in this regard. The measure was approved unanimously.

B. Reaffirmation of 2011 Ordinances. The measure was approved unanimously.

C. Appointment of Town Clerk. Lakesha Shannon was unanimously approved to a one year term.

D. Appointment of Town Treasurer. Ken Gunnells was unanimously appointed to a one year term.

E. 2012 Committee Appointments:

Arts Council, BZA, Communications Committee, Environmental Committee, Planning Committee, Public Safety Committee, SATAX Committee, all appointed members for 2012. Note: The Arts Council’s Season Planner is now available at the Municipal Center. New members include: John Labriola (Arts Council);  Michael Clawson, Randy Gilmore (ZBA);  Mary Johnson (Communications);  Jennifer DeCiantis, Jack Kotz (Enviromental);  Gale Messerman (Planning); Barry Abrams (SATAX). All appointments were by a vote of 5-0.

F. Town Strategic Planning Retreat. It was agreed that dates in March would be reviewed for the retreat. No official action was taken.

G. Comprehensive Plan Report Card. The Town Administrator offered a brief synopsis of the Town’s annual grading system.  The code lists three categories for certain actions in a variety of areas: Urgent,
Normal and Caution. The system charts progress on a quarterly basis the status of a given project or matter of concern. It provides an overview of the Town’s accomplishments and strategic goals throughout the calendar year. No official action was taken.

H. Dune Walkovers. The Council engaged in a spirited discussion on the item. Councilman Vanderwalker remarked that many of the Island’s 100 plus beach walkovers are out of compliance with the specifications of the relevant Ordinance (16-406). He indicated that vast the majority of the walkovers are privately owned, with the Kiawah Island Co. owning roughly twenty of the structures. Many of the structures fall short of the required length and height, he said, which contributes to dune erosion. A discussion ensued concerning enforcement and a grace period for a home owner to come into compliance. It was decided that a letter to homeowners should be drafted fro review and a grace period of 18 months was suggested. A review of the subject ordinance and possible amendment was also discussed. No official action was taken.

I. Charitable Contributions. the following charitable contributions were awarded:
Barrier Free Medical  Clinic…….$ 15,000.
Full Faith Ministries……………….$5,000
Hebron Zion Presbyterian Church ….$10,000
Palmetto Project /Begin With Books….$5,000
Respite Care Charleston………..$5,000
Rural Mission…………$10,000
Sea Island Habitat for Humanity……$10,000
Total charitable awards……..$60,000

J. Beach Franchise Selection. The Council considered two proposals for the beach Franchise services contract. Following the recommendation of the Ways and Means Committee, the Council voted 4-1 to accept the proposal of Island Beach Services in consideration of $100, 000.

K. Kiawah Island Utility Update. The Council heard an update from Mayor Orban and Councilman Lipuma concerning the negotiations to purchase the utility from the Kiawah Island Co. Several meetings were held in December and the parties exchanged proposal for the sale. Apparently, the parties are still far apart on a sale price, though no specifics were provided. More negotiations are planned for the near future.

An Executive Session was convened for the purpose of discussing the appointment of the Town Attorney. After the closed door meeting, the full Council re-convened and approved Mr. Rhoad’s
appointment for the coming year by a vote of 3-2. The meeting was thereafter adjourned.

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