I'm asking for your input.
The Town wants to be responsive to our residents and property owners by putting their interests first. We need to focus our time and resources on those things that are important to residents and strengthen the community. It is also the most challenging part of Council's job. We often know what some people think about an issue, but it's much harder to know what most people think.
On very few issues is there a single "Kiawah view." This is partly because we are a diverse group with different reasons for owning property on Kiawah and different interests, priorities and views about the community and the issues we face.
Today we are evenly divided into three groups: full-time residents, property owners that live or vacation here part-time, and owners that use their property primarily or exclusively for short-term rental.
That ratio appears to be changing toward fewer full-time residents. Currently, approximately 1,500 private properties on Kiawah have
short-term rental licenses, and that number has been increasing.
Communicating with our property owners is equally challenging.
The Town's communications, like Town Notes and our e-blasts, reach most of our 1,600 or so full-time residents. Our ability to reach and interact with our several thousand other property owners is more difficult, primarily because we don't have a reliable way to know who they are or how to reach them.
So, a goal this year is to put more focus on asking what you think about issues facing the community. This is important because the next several years are going to bring a variety of different challenges and important questions that need to be asked and answered. What is most critical and distinctive about Kiawah that needs to be protected and strengthened?
What concerns arise as the island nears build-out, as our popularity as a tourist destination expands, as the island's homes and infrastructure mature, and the involvement of the primary developer diminishes? How do the Town, Community Association, Resort, and property owners work together to address these issues?
I promise it is simple, quick, and your response can help us stay focused on the right things. This poll will help us determine what you think are some of the most pressing concerns and issues for our community. Not everything on this list falls within the Town's direct responsibility, but we work closely with other entities on the island like KICA and the Resort, and your input can help us collectively identify not only what the Town must focus on, but where we need to work in concert with these other entities.
We will keep this poll open until April 27th and provide a summary of your responses in the
e-blast. If we get a good response, we'll do this more often and on a variety of issues and topics.