Car Accident Attorney inKiawah Island, SC

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CHSA Law, LLC Fighting
for Your Rights in Kiawah Island, SC

When an accident comes without warning, even the most prepared person can fall victim. One moment, you're walking to a restaurant after a long day of work. The next moment, someone else's negligence and carelessness change your life forever. Personal injury victims aren't just the victims of negligence they suffer from pain, concern over family and ability to work. Often, these victims do not have the luxury of worrying about work and family, because they're clinging to life in an ER. Without a personal injury attorney in Kiawah Island, SC, by their side, they mistakenly provide official statements to insurance agencies and accept settlement offers that only account for a fraction of what they have lost.

If you have recently been hurt in an accident, you may be asking questions like:

  • "What happens now?"
  • "How will I pay for my hospital bills?"
  • "Will I get fired from my job?"
  • "Will I be able to function independently ever again?"

With more than 100,000 car accidents in South Carolina every year, we hear these questions every day. Our hearts hurt for those who are suffering due to no fault of their own. Accident victims are not only left with questions like those above; they're also forced to deal with costs associated with medical bills, car repair, follow-up appointments, and loss of income.

While reading these facts can be bleak, there is a silver lining. South Carolina law dictates that those who are found responsible for your pain and suffering may be obligated to pay for your expenses. CHSA Law, LLC exists for that exact reason to make sure that negligent parties are held accountable. We fight on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. We aren't afraid to go toe-to-toe with greedy insurance agencies who do not have your best interests at heart.

Our overarching goal is to protect your rights, and our law firm is uniquely positioned to do so, with attorney Michael Dill‘s vast experience in the auto insurance industry.

Personal Injury Attorney Kiawah Island, SC
Service Areas

We offer comprehensive vehicle representation for a number of different automobile accidents, including:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Drunk Driving
  • Rollovers
  • Multi-Vehicle Accidents
  • Automobile Defects
  • Roadway Defects
  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Uninsured Motorists or
    Underinsured Drivers
  • Rear-End Collisions
  • Car Rental Accidents
  • RV Accidents

If you know you have been involved in one of the car accidents above, the time to seek experienced representation is now. Generally, car accident victims have three years from the date of their injuries to file a personal injury claim in Kiawah Island. That time frame can be reduced in certain circumstances. When a wrongful death is involved, surviving family members must take action in a similar time frame.

The bottom line is that speed is of the essence in these cases. When we sit down with you to learn more about your accident, we will help you understand South Carolina law so that you are fully informed before taking legal action. The sooner we can dig into the details of your case, the sooner we can fight for your rights.

We Recover Compensation
When You Need It Most

The law states that personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for the full extent of their injuries. Why? Because the primary goal of injury compensation in Kiawah Island, SC, is to help the victim return to the state they would have been in, if the accident never occurred. In the literal sense, doing so isn't possible. The law cannot reverse the incredible suffering and pain that accompanies a severe injury. As such, personal injury victims are entitled to receive a financial reward that equals those damages.

How much compensation you get depends on the facts and nuances of your case. With that said, you may be able to recover compensation for the following needs:

  • Rehab-Related Expenses like
    Physical Therapy
  • All Medical Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Lost Wages and Loss of
    Future Income Earning Ability
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional Distress
  • Mental Anguish

If you or someone you love was recently injured in a car wreck, contact our office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Kiawah Island, SC. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin fighting for your rights and the compensation you need.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Kiawah Island, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

The Role of Negligence in Your
Kiawah Island Personal Injury Case

If there were one common truth that we can count on, it's that life is unpredictable. Sometimes, accidents just happen. However, when recklessness and negligence come into play in situations where accidents cause personal injuries, the negligent party can be held responsible under South Carolina law. For victims to have a chance at compensation, the party responsible for the accident must be proven to be negligent. When a party or parties are negligent, they fail to take appropriate care when performing an action, like driving an automobile.

 Car Accident Attorney Kiawah Island, SC
At CHSA Law, LLC, our team works to prove negligence
for our clients by proving:
  • The defendant had an obligation to look out for your safety.
  • The defendant did not uphold that duty.
  • There was causation between the defendant's breach of duty and the injuries you sustained.
  • You suffered real damages.

After an accident occurs, it is critical to take certain steps to help prove the responsible party's negligence and maximize the compensation you rightly deserve.

Steps to Maximize Compensation
After an Accident in Kiawah Island, SC

All too often, car wreck victims don't get the compensation they need because they failed to take the proper steps after their accident. Don't let this be you. By having comprehensive records of your car accident and its aftermath, you have a much better chance of protecting your rights and maximizing compensation for your bills and injuries. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Kiawah Island, follow these steps before doing anything else:

1.

Go to a Doctor

First and foremost, seek medical attention for any injuries that you have sustained. You might not realize it now, but your injuries may be more complex and serious than you think. Damage like head trauma and back injuries are not easy to diagnose on your own and sometimes take time to surface. A full medical examination will help reveal the extent of your injuries, lead to a quicker recovery, and help document the injuries you sustained. This last part is essential to prove the significance of your injuries.

 Law Firm Kiawah Island, SC
2.

File an
Accident Report

The second step you should take is to report your injuries to the correct authorities. The authorities change depending on the circumstances of your accident. If you were involved in a car wreck in Kiawah Island, you should file your report with the highway authorities and any associated insurance agencies. Regardless of where you were injured and how the wreck occurred, the biggest takeaway here is to file a report. That way, you have an established, official record of the incident that can be referred to down the line.

Personal Injury Attorney Kiawah Island, SC
3.

Preserve Evidence
if Possible

Personal injury cases in Kiawah Island are won with evidence. It might sound like the job of the police, but it's important that you try to secure any evidence that you can collect relating to your accident, especially if you are injured. Evidence in auto accident cases tends to disappear quickly. By preserving evidence soon after the accident, it can be used in court. For example, if you cannot get a witness statement immediately after your wreck, their testimony may come across as less reliable. Completing this task on your own can be quite difficult, especially after a serious accident. That's why it's so crucial to complete the last step below.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Kiawah Island, SC
4.

Contact a Lawyer

One of the most intelligent, important steps you can take after a car accident is calling a personal injury attorney in Kiawah Island, SC. At CHSA Law, LLC, we will assist you with every step of your personal injury case to ensure that your rights are protected. That includes gathering all types of evidence relevant to your case. When we investigate your accident, we will determine the person who is liable for your losses. If there are multiple liable parties, we will hold each one accountable for their negligence.

Every personal injury case is different, which is why experience counts when it comes to car accident compensation. Our track record speaks for itself, but no number of past results will guarantee a perfect outcome. What we can guarantee, however, is our undivided attention and fierce dedication to your case, no matter the circumstances. Unlike other personal injury law firms in Kiawah Island, you can have peace of mind knowing your best interests always come first at CHSA Law, LLC.

 Car Accident Attorney Kiawah Island, SC

Common Car Accidents in
Kiawah Island, SC

At CHSA Law, LLC, we have years of experience handling some of Kiawah Island's most complicated car accident cases. Some of the most common cases that come across our desks include:

Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving is a major problem in the Lowcountry. Drunk drivers are incredibly irresponsible and regularly cause fatal accidents because they drive physically and mentally impaired by alcohol. Drunk drivers have slower reaction times, delayed reflexes, and impaired vision, making them unfit to operate a motor vehicle. In auto wrecks, drunk drivers often come away with minor injuries compared to their victims, which is a bitter pill to swallow

Individuals who make a choice to drive drunk cause accidents by weaving in and out of traffic, going over the speed limit, failing to see pedestrians, and ignoring traffic laws. They may run cars off the road, rear-end vehicles, hit them head-on, or even cause a vehicle to roll over.

Drunk driving accidents in Kiawah Island care result in horrible injuries, such as:

  • Burns
  • Broken Bones
  • Head Injuries
  • Brain Trauma
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Mental Anguish

If you are injured or have lost a family member due to an impaired or drunk driver, our team of personal injury lawyers in Kiawah Island can help. We have extensive experience with car accident cases and can explain your rights in simple, plain terms. It is important to know that you can file a personal injury suit regardless of the criminal case outcome against the drunk driver.

 Law Firm Kiawah Island, SC

Rental and RV Accidents

When accidents happen in RVs or rental cars, people are often unsure of their rights. This confusion is understandable since there are additional insurance and legal issues that must be accounted for in these cases.

Fortunately, the lawyers at CHSA Law, LLC, have the experience to help you with complex car accident and RV cases. Attorney Michael Dill worked in the auto insurance industry before becoming an attorney. He also has an undergraduate degree that includes a focus on risk management and insurance. When it comes to rental and RV accidents, we review each client's case with a fine-tooth comb. Once we understand your accident, our team will explain your rights and options in easy-to-understand terms.

If you were involved in an accident while driving an RV or a rental vehicle, you may find that your auto insurance company, the rental car's insurance company, and the other party's insurance carrier will try to deny your claim. Situations like these call for a bold, experienced personal injury attorney in Kiawah Island, SC, who isn't afraid of large corporations and insurance groups. We have extensive experience with insurance companies and know how to interpret policies. As your advocate, we will ensure that you receive the coverage and compensation you are entitled to, even if an insurance company says you aren't.

We can help you seek compensation in cases that involve:

  • Injuries from Boating Ac
    cidents
  • Rental Cars Injuries
  • RV Accidents
  • Jet Ski Injuries
  • Golf Cart Injuries
  • Rental cars
  • Boat accidents
  • ATV Accidents

Victims of RV and rental car accidents (as well as their families) may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income or benefits. Our personal injury lawyers work with life-care planners, medical experts, and economists to determine the amount of compensation you will need.

Personal Injury Attorney Kiawah Island, SC

Texting While Driving and
Distracted Driving Accidents

We live in a time where just about everyone has their eyes glued to their phones. Often, this happens in situations where the person needs to be paying attention, like when they're driving an automobile. Taking a few moments to glance down at your phone can cause irreparable damage to other drivers. That is why texting while driving is illegal in Kiawah Island. Typically, this crime is met with a minor traffic violation. However, when a distracted driver injures another motorist, you can seek compensation through a legal suit. If you have been injured in such a situation, our team can help you hold the negligent driver accountable for your losses and damages.

Texting takes drivers' minds and eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. Because they are not paying attention to their driving,

They miss crucial road signs and information such as:

  • Changes in the Flow
    of Traffic
  • Traffic Lights
  • Traffic Signs
  • Work Zones
  • Bicyclists
  • Lane Changes
  • Incapacitate Cars and
    Motorists

At CHSA Law, LLC, we represent injury victims in Kiawah Island who are involved in all types of car accidents, including distracted driving. We work with vigor to recover the full amount of compensation you and your family will need to recover. You can rely on our attorneys for dedicated, representation throughout your case. Unlike some distracted driving lawyers in Kiawah Island, we will assist you with all aspects of your accident, including access to good medical care if needed.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Kiawah Island, SC

Unflinching Legal Advocacy. Compassionate Care

At CHSA Law, LLC, we are proud of our commitment to our clients. We pledge to provide them with the highest quality legal representation in Kiawah Island and treat them with respect, empathy, and compassion. If you are suffering from the results of a dangerous car accident, know we are here to assist.

We will help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and additional losses. Surviving family members may also recover funeral expenses and compensation for the personal loss of a loved one, including the deceased's future income and benefits. When you or your family's health and financial security are on the line, trust the best choose CHSA Law, LLC.

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Latest News in Kiawah Island, SC

2031 PGA Championship will be hosted at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

...KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — The 113th PGA Championship in May 2031 will be hosted at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.The PGA America announced Kiawah Island would host the 2031 championship on April 17. The 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships will also be contested at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point Golf Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.Read more: ...

...

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — The 113th PGA Championship in May 2031 will be hosted at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

The PGA America announced Kiawah Island would host the 2031 championship on April 17. The 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships will also be contested at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point Golf Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

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"We are ecstatic to bring the Junior PGA Championships and PGA Championship to The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2029 and 2031," PGA of America President John Lindert said in a statement. "Past PGA Championships at Kiawah Island have provided no shortage of memorable moments and historic performances, all taking place along a breathtaking coastal setting. The Ocean Course's challenging layout and rich history make it an ideal destination for our championships."

This will be the third PGA Championship hosted at Kiawah Island, following the 2012 and 2021 championships.

"We are proud to again be selected as the host course for the 2031 PGA Championship," Kiawah Island Golf Resort President Roger Warren said in a statement. "The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Pete Dye's brilliant seaside design, will present a formidable challenge for the strongest, all-professional field in major championship golf. We are confident our partnership with the PGA of America and the local community will produce another world class event."

Read more: Lowcountry youth soccer teams gain firsthand European experience during spring break

Explore Charleston CEO Helen Hill issued a statement on Kiawah Island Golf Resort the 2031 PGA Championship.

"Congratulations to Kiawah Island Golf Resort and the Town of Kiawah Island. The remarkable opportunities to host the 2031 PGA Championship and the 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships are realized only through community and industry leaders' collective vision and unwavering commitment."

"Events of this caliber are momentous for the entire Charleston region, and we are sincerely grateful for the PGA's trust in our community's capacity to host world-class championships catering to players, patrons, and other stakeholders."

"Drawing from our past experiences with prestigious events like the 1991 Ryder Cup, the 2019 U.S. Women's Open, and the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships, we understand the transformative power of these tournaments. They not only spotlight the resort, island, region, and state on a global scale, but also yield substantial economic benefits."

"Despite pandemic-induced limitations on attendance, the 2021 PGA Championship generated nearly $60 million in economic impact, bolstering state and local economies with over $8 million in tax revenues. The event's international broadcast reached over half a billion households, garnering over $160 million in media exposure for Kiawah and the surrounding area."

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"The Explore Charleston team eagerly anticipates collaborating with the PGA, resort, town, and broader destination stakeholders to ensure the unparalleled success of these championships."

THE OCEAN COURSE AT KIAWAH ISLAND GOLF RESORT TO HOST 2031 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

2029 Junior PGA Championships to be held at The Ocean Course and Turtle PointFRISCO, Texas & KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The PGA of America announced today that The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, will host the 2031 PGA Championship. Additionally, the 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships will be contested at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point Golf Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.The 113th PGA Championship, scheduled for May 2031, marks the third time the strongest fie...

2029 Junior PGA Championships to be held at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point

FRISCO, Texas & KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The PGA of America announced today that The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, will host the 2031 PGA Championship. Additionally, the 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships will be contested at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point Golf Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

The 113th PGA Championship, scheduled for May 2031, marks the third time the strongest field in golf will compete for the Wanamaker Trophy along South Carolina’s coast.

The Ocean Course previously hosted the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships, and will join elite company as just the ninth course to host three or more PGA Championships. The PGA of America also conducted the 1991 Ryder Cup, 2005 PGA Professional Championship and the 2007 Senior PGA Championship there.

“We are ecstatic to bring the Junior PGA Championships and PGA Championship to The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2029 and 2031,” said PGA of America President John Lindert, PGA Director of Golf at The Country Club of Lansing. “Past PGA Championships at Kiawah Island have provided no shortage of memorable moments and historic performances, all taking place along a breathtaking coastal setting. The Ocean Course’s challenging layout and rich history make it an ideal destination for our Championships.”

At the 2021 PGA Championship, 50-year-old Phil Mickelson became the oldest men’s major champion in golf history. He registered a final-round 1-over-par 73 to finish at 6-under-par and clinch the two-shot victory.

The 2012 PGA Championship saw a 23-year-old Rory McIlroy cruise to a record-setting victory. The Northern Ireland native posted a 6-under-par 66 on Sunday to finish at 13-under-par 275. McIlroy’s eight-stroke victory surpassed the PGA Championship record for victory margin set by Jack Nicklaus in 1980.

The 1991 Ryder Cup proved to be a significant moment in the history of golf’s greatest team event. Following an intense, drama-filled two days, the three-day contest came down to the final hole of the final match between Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer.

With the U.S. holding a 14-13 lead and the match tied, Langer needed to win the 18th to capture a full point and secure the 14-14 tie for Europe to retain the Cup. Following Irwin’s bogey, Langer’s six-foot putt for par narrowly missed, resulting in a 14 ½ to 13 ½ victory for the home team.

The Junior PGA Championships, two of golf’s major championships for juniors, continue to serve as a springboard for many of the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour’s biggest stars. Tiger Woods, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Speith and Justin Thomas competed in past editions while past Girls Junior PGA winners include Inbee Park, Yuka Saso, Lexi Thompson and Rose Zhang.

“We are proud to again be selected as the host course for the 2031 PGA Championship,” said Kiawah Island Golf Resort President Roger Warren, PGA. “The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Pete Dye’s brilliant seaside design, will present a formidable challenge for the strongest, all-professional field in major championship golf. We are confident our partnership with the PGA of America and the local community will produce another world class event.”

The Ocean Course, designed by Pete and Alice Dye from 1989-91, is widely regarded as one of the best golf courses in the country. Located on the easternmost end of Kiawah Island, it boasts the most seaside holes in the Northern Hemisphere with 10 hugging the Atlantic and the other eight running parallel to those. Although the course was originally planned to sit behind the dunes, Alice Dye suggested raising the entire course to give players unobstructed views of Kiawah Island’s stunning coastline on every hole.

The Ocean Course has consistently ranked among Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest and 100 Greatest Public Courses in the United States, including 24th (100 Greatest) and third (100 Greatest Public) in 2023-24.

For more information on the PGA Championship, visit here.

About the PGA Championship

The PGA Championship is the only all-professional major in men’s golf. It began in 1916, just months after the birth of the PGA of America, and today features one of the deepest international fields in golf. Since 1994, it has perennially featured the strongest field in golf with the most top-100 players in the Official World Golf Rankings.

About PGA of America

The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of more than 30,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals who love the game, are expert coaches, operators and business leaders, and work daily to drive interest, inclusion and participation in the sport. The PGA of America owns and operates numerous championships and events, including major championships for men, women, seniors and the Ryder Cup, one of the world’s foremost sporting events. For more information, visit PGA.com and follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Located along 10 miles of pristine beach less than 30 miles south of Charleston, S.C., Kiawah Island Golf Resort consistently ranks as one of the country’s top resorts. It includes The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, a 255-room hotel awarded with a triple Forbes Five-Star rating for hotel, restaurant and spa, and AAA Five Diamond rating for hotel and spa. Additional accommodations include nearly 500 private villas and luxury homes, and four Cottages at The Ocean Course. Renowned for its nature and recreational offerings, the resort features five championship golf courses, including The Ocean Course, host of the 1991 Ryder Cup, and the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships. For 15 of the past 17 years, the resort has ranked as the number-one tennis resort in the world by TennisResortsOnline.com. For more information, visit kiawahresort.com.

Media Contacts

PGA of America

Greg Dillard, 561-308-8013, gdillard@pgahq.com

Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Bryan Hunter, 843-327-2528, bryan_hunter@kiawahresort.com

Kiawah Island ponders next steps after proposed sale of Captain Sams Spit

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Kiawah is continuing its fight to protect Captain Sams Spit, a sandy inlet that’s stirred a legal battle over development rights for years.Officials became aware that Kiawah Partners, the owners of the land in question, have now offered to sell the land to the state. An agreement between Kiawah Partners and the town recently expired, prompting the town t...

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Kiawah is continuing its fight to protect Captain Sams Spit, a sandy inlet that’s stirred a legal battle over development rights for years.

Officials became aware that Kiawah Partners, the owners of the land in question, have now offered to sell the land to the state. An agreement between Kiawah Partners and the town recently expired, prompting the town to look for options to keep the land untouched.

Kiawah Town Council discussed what action to take in the executive session this week after they got word of the possible sale. Council members authorized their legal counsel to send a note to South Carolina Attorney General Emory Smith regarding Captain Sams Spit.

Executive Director of the South Carolina Environmental Law Project Amy Armstrong explained that it’s unknown what state ownership would mean.

“The state hasn’t said what it would do, who would actually hold it, or what they would do with it,” Armstrong said. “It’s not necessarily assured that just because the state buys it that it’s going to stay exactly how it is today.”

The letter includes three attachments, one of which is the town’s demand letter to Kiawah Development Partners, dated Jan. 8, 2024, and it lays out obligations that were outlined in the contract between the town and developer that recently expired, that the developer did not fulfill.

One concern is that money will be wasted if the state agrees to purchase the land because Kiawah Partners should have already placed a conservation easement on the Spit, recorded a no-development covenant, and conveyed portions of the spit to the island’s Home Owners Association.

“The public doesn’t see why public funds need to be added to the cost of locking down what was supposed to be locked down by an agreement,” Kiawah property owner and land development lawyer Tim Hazel said. “So, in our opinion, it seems that we’re looking at potentially a waste of public funds to get to the point where we should be anyway.”

Kiawah town officials said in part, “The Town of Kiawah Island has a duty to ensure the developer honors its obligations under the development agreement.”

Island property owner and land development lawyer Tim Hazel said while this back-and-forth battle is extremely frustrating, he’s glad that the town is on the same side of this as residents.

Hazel said while this back-and-forth battle is extremely frustrating, he’s glad that the town is on the same side of this as residents.

“It’s funny because we’re not aligned on some of the issues involving development on Kiawah Island but this issue in particular, I think to the credit of the town council and the mayor, there is an effort to enforce what the town had negotiated in 2013,” Hazel said.

Armstrong said it’s encouraging that permanent protection for Sams Spit is potentially closer, but she’s keeping a cautious eye out for what comes next.

“If the community association owns part of the land and then there’s a conservation easement on the other part that the Kiawah conservancy holds, then that assurance that there’s not going to development out there and that would be a favorable outcome,” Armstrong said.

Kiawah councilmember Brad Belt said he could not comment on pending legal issues, but that “As has been noted at public meetings, the Town’s goal is to both preserve the access the public currently has to Beachwalker Park and the beach areas of the Spit and to protect the highlands area of the Spit, which is critical habitat for bobcats, nesting sea turtles and migrating shorebirds, from any development.”

Kiawah Partners declined a request for comment.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Editorial: Stop wasting money; start conserving Capt Sam's Spit

For years, we have called for the conservation of the fragile, ever-shifting southern tip of Kiawah Island, a slice of land many know as Capt. Sam’s Spit. We reiterate that call for a deal — and encourage leaders in our state government and conservation community to focus anew on it — particularly as the property remains in between controversial efforts to develop homes there.As The Post and Courier’s Toby Cox reported, the property is tied up in a complicated legal dispute over a 2013 Amended and Restated Deve...

For years, we have called for the conservation of the fragile, ever-shifting southern tip of Kiawah Island, a slice of land many know as Capt. Sam’s Spit. We reiterate that call for a deal — and encourage leaders in our state government and conservation community to focus anew on it — particularly as the property remains in between controversial efforts to develop homes there.

As The Post and Courier’s Toby Cox reported, the property is tied up in a complicated legal dispute over a 2013 Amended and Restated Development Agreement between the town of Kiawah Island and developer Kiawah Resort Associates that expired last month. At issue is whether the developer met contractual obligations to transfer ownership of some of the property’s highlands to the community association and to protect the remaining highlands with deed restrictions. These actions would protect the spit from development efforts, but the developer says these obligations were contingent on development, which did not occur.

Since 2008, developers have sought state permits to build 50 homes on the land, but the complexity of running a road and utility lines to the property has resulted in years-long court battles and appeals that stopped the plans. But those hoping for the property’s conservation should not count on permitting battles and environmental lawsuits alone; the land has some value, and its owners deserve to be compensated to some degree for a conservation agreement that would preclude development. Of course, there may be a wide disagreement over the dollars involved, given the property’s proximity to the high-valued real estate of Kiawah Island as well as the folly of building on land so subject to erosion and flooding.

Town officials sent the developer a letter this month asking it to fulfill the two obligations, and it’s certainly possible this could lead to yet another legal battle. That turn would be regrettable. It would be much better for both sides to focus on a conservation deal that would settle this matter once and for all.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a precedent-setting ruling in 1992 in a case only five islands north of Kiawah (Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council), saying if government restricts all potential use of a piece of private property, that is considered a "taking" — and the property owner is owed compensation. We agree with what Amy Armstrong, executive director and general counsel at the S.C. Environmental Law Project, told Ms. Cox: "As long as the developer owns the property, there’s a threat."

The property is valuable for conservation not only because it provides habitat for wildlife but also because it adjoins Charleston County's Kiawah Beachwalker Park, which is so popular most summer weekends that there is a waiting list for its limited parking spaces. And that's not surprising: Beachwalker offers access to more than a mile's worth of beach and creekfront, around which bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and seabirds are common visitors. In short, it's one of South Carolina's most pristine sections of beach publicly accessible by car.

Both South Carolina and Charleston County leaders should engage on ways to strike a conservation deal here for many reasons, including the prevention of unwise attempts to harden the land for development and the preservation of wildlife habitat and high-quality public access. The time to strike that deal is now, before more dollars are wasted on legal battles or ill-considered development plans.

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Resident concerns push beach boardwalk changes on Kiawah Island

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A new concern surrounding development being built on Kiawah Island has recently come to light by residents and change is now in the works.The questions revolve around two boardwalks that were built for “The Cape,” beachfront condominium complexes, to give the people that will be staying there beach access.The boardwalks stick out too far onto the beach, and it raised a red flag for Jim Gidcumb, who bikes on the beach daily.“At high tide, all of a sudden there’s this bo...

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A new concern surrounding development being built on Kiawah Island has recently come to light by residents and change is now in the works.

The questions revolve around two boardwalks that were built for “The Cape,” beachfront condominium complexes, to give the people that will be staying there beach access.

The boardwalks stick out too far onto the beach, and it raised a red flag for Jim Gidcumb, who bikes on the beach daily.

“At high tide, all of a sudden there’s this boardwalk that runs right into the ocean,” Gidcumb said. “I could not pass it and neither could pedestrians or emergency vehicles, and so I said something isn’t right here.”

After he and others expressed concerns, staff with DHEC’s Ocean and Coastal Resource Management came on-site to assess if the builds were compliant. They determined that recent beach erosion caused the boardwalks to be on the active beach, and the developer is working to shorten the structures.

“It’s a real safety hazard if you can’t traverse this beach at all hours,” Gidcumb said.

The Town of Kiawah said they are assessing to ensure that the boardwalks are compliant and respond to needs of accessibility for emergency and code enforcement vehicles.

“The next step will be to figure out how far back these boardwalks need to be to be in compliance,” Gidcumb said.

DHEC said as long as the boardwalks are shortened properly, they will meet the requirements of the applicable state regulation.

“It would be better to be proactive than reactive, as we’re kind of in a reactive mode now, but that’s fine,” Gidcumb said. “Catching it before it was completed means it can now be addressed and remediated.”

Gidcumb said at the end of the day he just wants to ride his bike on the beach safely and he appreciates the town and developer’s response on this issue.

For more information about this from the Town of Kiawah, click here.

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