On December 12, 2018, after many years of discourse and intensive negotiations, the Presidents of SIPOA and the Seabrook Island Club (SIC) signed a comprehensive binding agreement to resolve long-standing issues related to the interdependent stormwater drainage systems on Seabrook Island.
This agreement, approved by both Boards, was thoroughly reviewed by our respective outside counsels to ensure consistency with the legal authority vested in each per its charters, ByLaws and Covenants.
Fundamentally, the agreement supports our shared belief that it is in our mutual interest and benefit to have a properly functioning and maintained drainage system. It will significantly help address the #1 concern as stated by property owners in a recent survey: drainage/flooding.
Here is an overview of the key elements:
- A major independent drainage study on the performance of the island’s systems, including pipes, lagoons, pump stations and storm water outfalls. The cost will be shared by both entities per the acreage of high ground drained by our respective properties. This study is anticipated to be conducted in 2019.
- A commitment by SIPOA to accept maintenance easements on six of the Club’s “shared use” stormwater pipes – those that drain mainly SIPOA/villa properties, yet cross Club property. The easements will be signed when the pipes are brought up to standard. SIC completed much of the relining work during 2018. Future maintenance costs for these pipes will be shared by both parties according to the drainage benefit received.
- A commitment by SIC to implement a comprehensive maintenance and dredging plan for lakes and lagoons on its property. Such efforts will improve drainage by reducing silt and debris buildup so lakes/lagoons don’t transform into marshes over time. SIC started this effort in 2018 by dredging the lagoon on Crooked Oaks #4, which helped mitigate localized flooding near adjacent residences. These efforts will complement work already being done by SIPOA for bodies of water under its jurisdiction.
- A commitment by SIPOA to apply for regulatory permits to allow for clearing of stormwater outfalls under both jurisdictions. SIPOA will also coordinate the contractor bid process to maximize efficiency and improve competitiveness. Each entity will be responsible for paying for and managing its own work. This is a major effort and is anticipated to take up to five years to complete after permits are received. It could take up to a year or more to receive those permits.
- A commitment by SIC to allow property owners to tie into club-owned drains, if the property meets defined criteria, to help with localized flooding problems due to the residential property elevation being below the adjacent golf course.
- A commitment by SIC to remediate localized issues in lagoons and swales which contribute to flooding at Tarpon Pond and Sealoft Villas. Some of this work has already started.
- A joint financial commitment to reline the 42″ stormwater drain along Crooked Oaks #16/17 that SIPOA paid for in 1999. This is a critical outfall pipe from the pump station at Dune Crest lagoon and drains a major basin, including homes and villas along Seabrook Island and High Hammock Roads. The repair and future maintenance costs will be shared per the relative drainage benefit received by each. The relining is anticipated to take place in 2020.
We would like to thank the many people who were involved in bringing these long-standing issues to a fair resolution. Despite complicated circumstances, our negotiating teams worked in a collaborative effort to address the problems in a forthright and honest manner. Our island will be a better place because of their efforts.
Plans are underway to hold a community meeting (with remote access) in the near future to provide more information as to the process, plans and anticipated costs. Stay tuned for more details!
Seabrook Island Club President