February COVAR Corner

This is the fourth in a series of articles covering the history and role/contributions of villa associations and regimes within the Town of Seabrook Island (Town).  [To see earlier articles, search “COVAR” here.] This article will focus on the role/contributions of associations/regimes with respect to the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA). It is based upon research contributed by the staffs of, among others, the Town, SIPOA (leadership, as well), SIC/SIRE and Coastal Getaways of South Carolina (Coastal Getaways). Data provided in this article is largely quantifiable, due to the ability to break down most SIPOA revenue items and demographic data between villas and single-family homes, and the relative contributions of villas to SIPOA.

There are 41 villa associations/regimes within the Town. As of January 11, 52% of the residential units within the Town were villas–1,184 villas (1114 of which were within SIPOA [excludes Bohicket Marina Village’s 70 units]) vs. 1,094 single family homes. Villas constituted approximately 75% of the rental properties within the Town based upon SIC/SIRE and Coastal Getaways data.

Villas contribute significantly to SIPOA revenues through capital contributions and annual and special assessments. During 2017, 107 villa sales totaling $32,028,135 and constituting 47.5% of total properties sold and 28% of total sales revenue, respectively, contributed $160,141 to SIPOA’s capital reserves. Villas contributions to 2017 annual and special assessment revenues constituted slightly over 50% of such revenues from improved properties.

Other contributions by villa owners to SIPOA include service on the SIPOA Board of Directors, of which two directors are current villa owners/residents and three are former owners/residents, and SIPOA committees. Although 85% of villa owners are nonresident, they still have served on the SIPOA Board and Nominating Committee, other standing and special committees and as SIPOA Board President and Chair of the Nominating Committee. A review of villa owner participation data shows that 1) past and present villa owners have been serving on the Board in healthy proportions over the past several years and 2) over the past two years, they have been represented on standing and special committees in comparable or better numbers than the rates at which they volunteered. While the value of these contributions cannot be quantified, they are assuredly critical to SIPOA governance and the welfare of both resident and nonresident owners. Over the years, the COVAR Board has contributed to SIPOA governance on behalf of villa owners and also renters and personal guests by 1) providing thoroughly researched and documented input to SIPOA Board deliberations and decisions and 2) efforts such as the recent collaboration between the COVAR Board and the SIPOA Nominating Committee to solicit villa owner candidates for both the SIPOA Board and the Nominating Committee. Seven villa owners were actively recruited; although none applied, some stated a willingness to consider candidacy in 2018 and expressed a desire to serve on SIPOA committees in the interim.

Through activities such as those described above, resident and nonresident villa owners play a very significant role in SIPOA, contributing to its governance and financial stability. These activities serve to ensure Seabrook Island’s continued livability, benefitting all owners (resident or nonresident), guests and renters.

In closing, it should be noted that at the March General Meeting, the COVAR Board currently plans on:

  1. Conducting another Association/Regime Presidents Roundtable, similar to the one conducted in March 2017.
  2. Announcing 2018 COVAR Board Election Results.

-Submitted by Allan Keener, President

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