|December 4, 2020
Dear Sea Pines property owners,
It is truly an exciting time here in Sea Pines. As the holidays are fast approaching, so, too, is the vote on our community’s Infrastructure Funding Referendum. Today, I want to answer for the entire community a few of the most often-asked questions received from property owners so that you may vote with confidence to secure the funding to meet our infrastructure needs.
- Question: What will be the percentage increase from current assessments that will be paid by the Resort, Commercial Property Owners and Residential Property Owners if the Referendum passes?
- The Resort will increase its total contribution from .50% to .75%, an increase of 50%. The $600 increase for Residential Property Owners is just above a 50% increase over the 2021 assessment. The additional Commercial Property Owners’ assessment will more than double the amount currently paid on tenant-leased spaces. The additional referendum funds may only be used for the repair, replacement, addition and improvement of the roads, bridges, bulkheads, leisure trails, storm water facilities and systems located in or servicing Sea Pines.
- Question: Why is there no “sunset” to this assessment?
- While CSA has identified a $35 million deficit needed for critical infrastructure projects over the next 10 years, both the 2016 Hydrology Study and the Sea Pines Capital Reserve Study detailing the community’s needs extend well beyond 10 years. Therefore, it is not realistic to believe that there will be no further infrastructure needs at the end of 10 years. If this increase ended (or “sunset”), a future Board and the property owners who elected them would be burdened with initiating another referendum. On the other hand, future Boards may reduce this annual assessment if it determined that a lesser amount will satisfy critical needs identified at that time.
- Question: Why hasn’t CSA provided bids for future infrastructure projects?
- We are able to use the actual reconstruction costs for the Greenwood Drive and Lighthouse Road projects, along with the bids received last month to reconstruct and rebuild North Sea Pines Drive (Ocean Gate to Lighthouse Road), to create a solid understanding of our infrastructure needs and their anticipated costs for our major projects. However, trying to prioritize our major projects today or estimating with any level of specificity the exact cost of any project years in the future would be futile – similar to any of us providing that level of detail today for a kitchen remodeling we expect to make in 10 years. Each Board will and should have the benefit of Staff and Board Committee review of annual projects to prioritize and budget for the next year’s use of this new Fund. Given the very specific and limited uses for which this fund can be spent, and the clearly identified need, we believe this is a very prudent approach.
- Question: In the proposed Fifth Amendment, what type of facilities are referenced in the phrase “storm water facilities and systems located in or servicing Sea Pines?”
- The language of the Fifth Amendment simply recognizes the fact that CSA is responsible for maintaining Greenwood Drive and the underlying stormwater infrastructure from the Greenwood Gate to the Sea Pines Circle. As we have previously noted, this Fund will not be used for anything related to any buildings, including the Gallery of Shops.
As we have done over the past few months, CSA will continue communicating with you often to assure that whether you live in Sea Pines full time or spend only a few weeks here each year, you will be strongly incented to take the time to make an informed decision and VOTE on this important opportunity to solve our long-term funding needs. I encourage you to visit seapinesliving.com/referendum where you will find more information and a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the referendum. If you have additional questions or comments, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to me at Chairman@csaseapines.com.
Ballots will be mailed on December 10, 2020 to the addresses we have on file. While you will have until January 15, 2021 to return your ballot, we hope you will mail your vote as soon as it is received, so that it does not get pushed aside in the holiday mail.
Before we close the door on 2020, we have the chance finally to address our community’s infrastructure funding issues. Your CSA Board remains optimistic, as support from property owners continues to build around the Referendum. I hope you will join us in promptly returning your ballot with a YES vote to support our community, homes and investments, and that you will also encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.
CSA Board Chairman