September 06, 2021
Annexation Petition Q&A and Ways to Participate
The Town has received a number of questions regarding the upcoming annexation petition. Provided below is a summary of common questions and answers about the petition.
The public is encouraged to attend the Town Council meeting tomorrow (9/7/21) and will be able to give comments during the citizen’s comments portion of the agenda. If you cannot attend, the meeting will be live-streamed on the Town’s YouTube channel. Comments can be submitted in advance by emailing Town Administrator Stephanie Tillerson at email@example.com.
How to Watch the Meeting
To access the Town’s YouTube channel, do one of the following:
- Save this email and click here at the meeting time.
- Visit www.kiawahisland.org and click the YouTube icon at the bottom of the homepage.
- Visit www.youtube.com and search the Town of Kiawah.
Why is the request for annexation on the September Town Council agenda?
The Applicant, Haulover Creek Development Company, LLC, (an affiliate of the Goodwin Family Holdings (owner of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort) and Riverstone Properties) wishes to build a mixed-use center in balance with Freshfields Village, emphasizing community retail sales/services and integrating residential uses that will expand housing choices for permanent residents.
The Town received an annexation petition on September 2, 2021, from Haulover Creek, LLC, requesting that the Town Council consider annexing 82.14 acres into the Town.
Why was the community not notified earlier?
An annexation petition can only become public once an applicant submits an official application to the Town. The Applicant did not submit their application until September 2, 2021. To hear the Applicant’s request, the Town added it to the next meeting agenda (September 7).
Town Council meetings are held monthly on the 1st Tuesday at 2:00 pm. Their agenda and meeting materials are routinely finalized the Friday before the meeting and made available to the public by posting on the website. The Applicants request met the Friday deadline.
On September 3, the Town released the Mayor’s communication to bring the agenda item to the communities attention and make residents aware as soon as possible.
Why would the Town consider annexing the property?
The annexation process is a legal procedure where a property owner may petition the Town to be incorporated into their municipal boundaries when the property is contiguous to the existing town limits. The benefit of annexation is that it allows any community to establish land uses and standards for the property that otherwise, in this case, would reside with the County.
What happens if the Town does not annex the property?
The developer would have two choices:
- Develop the property under its current zoning.
- Seek rezoning from the Charleston County Planning Commission.
What is the purpose of the annexation First Reading?
The first reading allows the project to move forward to the Planning Commission to review the proposed land uses and standards and to provide an opportunity for community input.
What is the role of the Planning Commission in this process?
The Planning Commission reviews the Planned Development application to make recommendations to Town Council. During the review, Planning Commission has an opportunity to influence standards, including land use, setbacks, lot sizes, density, bulk, other requirements, and possible studies to accommodate flexibility in the plan.
Who has final approval of the annexation and Planned Development application?
The Town Council has final approval, which would be done in a multi-phase process outlined below. All meetings below will be live-streamed on the Town’s YouTube channel.
Tuesday, September 7 at 2 pm
- Annexation petition to Town Council (1st Reading) Meeting materials posted here
Wednesday, September 8 at 3 pm
- Planning Commission Planned Development Workshop
Wednesday, October 6 at 3 pm
- Planned Development (PD) Applications to Planning Commission for Recommendation Consideration to the Town Council
Tuesday, October 12 at 2 pm
- Public Hearing and PD Application Review by Town Council (1st Reading)
Tuesday, October 19 at 2 pm
- *Annexation petition (2nd and final reading) and *PD Application (2nd & final reading) by Town Council. *Requires approval of Town Council 1st Reading
What happens if the Planning Commission and the Applicant cannot reach an agreement with the Planned Development (PD) standards?
The Planning Commission and Applicant can continue working together until they have a consensus before recommending to Town Council for approval. If an agreement is not reached, the Applicant can withdraw the annexation petition and PD application and develop their project under Charleston County’s development standards.
Does their proposed Planned Development call for higher density than the current zoning?
Yes. The Applicant has proposed 500 Dwelling Units + 160K sq ft of commercial vs. 288 Dwelling Units with no commercial development. This will be a critical point of discussion between the Planning Commission and the Applicant.
Why is the parcel of land in the annexation petition labeled on the County GIS map as Agricultural?
The GIS Agricultural designation is only for tax purposes and not related to zoning use. The parcel is presently zoned R-4, Residential within unincorporated Charleston County.
What about additional traffic?
Traffic is a concern for all of us. On Tuesday, Town Council will be reviewing a proposal to conduct a comprehensive traffic study for current and future traffic needs. The Town has been in pursuit of performing a traffic study in response to the recent announcement of the new Sea Islands MUSC Medical Facility and the senior living facility Seafields at Kiawah Island.
Has the Town looked at the public safety needs?
Whether the property is annexed or not, the Town will continue to evaluate the community’s public safety needs and work with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office to provide the level of service and coverage needed.
Has the developer provided the Town any future plans for their remaining holdings?
Can the community stop the project?
No, the developer has legal entitlements to build on the property. The community can express their concerns and comments to the Planning Commission for consideration by Town Council or to Charleston County if the Town does not approve the annexation.
What is the impact of adding new voters within the Town limits of Kiawah Island?
As Kiawah has grown, multiple constituents and competing ideas on how the community should grow and develop. Diversity of views is healthy for a community, and the election of municipal leaders should always be a priority for voters.
What is the benefit to the Town?
The immediate benefit of annexing the property will give the Town and Planning Commission the ability to influence the proposed project that would not exist if they developed under the County’s jurisdiction.
Will this project be incorporated into the Community Association (KICA)?
As KICA’s boundaries are currently defined, no.