July 12, 2018
Dear Sea Pines Property Owner,
I hope you are having a great summer! It is mid-July and we are well into the summer tourism season with all of the fun, vibrancy and yes “traffic” that occurs each year. Many of you may already be aware that on July 5th, 2018 the Sea Pines Community Services Associates , (CSA), Board of Directors passed a resolution to enter into an agreement to increase the Sea Pines “daily visitor gate fee” from $6 to $8. The new rate, which required agreement from CSA, Sea Pines Center and The Sea Pines Resort, will go into effect August 1, 2018. The agreement also establishes periods of time for future increases to be reviewed. If after these review periods it is determined that the “daily visitor gate pass” volume has not been significantly impacted then additional increases to $9.00 and then $10.00 will occur. The first possible additional increase to $9.00 can occur as early as August of 2020.
Many of you may be aware that any change to the daily, weekly or monthly gate fee rate requires the approval in writing by the owners of The Sea Pines Resort and by the owners of Sea Pines Center. With this written approval and agreement the Board of CSA must then approve the same for any gate fee change to become effective. This Right to approve any change to these gate fees was assigned to these two owners by court assignment. Since late 2016 representatives of The Resort and Center have been meeting with residential members of the CSA Board and Committees to review the needs and requirements of a daily gate fee increase.
In 2017, these representatives agreed to create a separation of daily gate passes into two classifications, one for commercial vehicles, the “daily commercial gate fee” and one for non-commercial vehicles the “daily visitor gate fee”. The daily commercial gate fee was increased to $10.00 on June 1, 2017 and has now been in place for over a year. This commercial gate pass fee represented 28% of the issuance of daily passes over the last 12 months and provided well over $400,000 in additional revenues to the infrastructure and operating funds of CSA.
Gate entry fees, by Gate Entry Policy, are levied to help defray increased costs incurred by property owners to provide services to casual visitors or paying customers, and residential owners or commercial entities located outside Sea Pines. These services include activities such as road maintenance, intra-plantation transportation, security, and administration, as well as other services provided by agreement and policy.
These increases to the daily commercial gate fee and the daily visitor gate fee represent the third and fourth increase to daily gate fees since the formation of CSA in 1989, almost 30 years ago. Today, gate fees now far outpace the growth of any other major revenue sources to CSA. These gate fee increases and the new agreement, updates and confirms all prior gate fee agreements and current policies, and comprise the largest ongoing revenue increase to any CSA revenue source ever made! The agreement also provides for the first time, a specified opportunity for additional defined future gate fee increases. These daily gate fee increases will help us address critical projects for the Sea Pines community, including funding improvements to increase efficiencies and flow at our gate entrances, repairing and improving our roadways and help to provide for other vital community needs.
I hope you will join me in thanking all of the representatives of The Sea Pines Resort, Sea Pines Center and your volunteer residential CSA Board and Committee members who have spent countless hours discussing, reviewing the various positions, documents, needs and required assurances that this new agreement provides. This additional revenue will help CSA fill the gap of what we believe is needed in Sea Pines to continue to protect, maintain and enhance the resources of the community for the benefit of all.
President, Community Services Associates, Inc.