As Seabrook Island grows at a pace to reach build-out in about 5 years, meeting the current and anticipated future needs of Property Owners is a top priority for SIPOA.
While the term Renew 50 was used publicly in 2023 to announce a multi-phase facility improvement project, its roots are actually found in SIPOA’s 2019 Comprehensive Plan.
In this Comprehensive Plan, SIPOA’s Planning Committee identified and ranked the top strategic issues facing Seabrook Island. A top issue was to manage and improve both the built and natural environment of Seabrook Island and seek a balance between the two (page 7).
A high priority even more pressing than planning for build-out was to revisit the capacity and utilization of the Lake House and Oyster Catcher facilities in the light of increasing demand for community, recreation, and fitness activities (SIPOA Comprehensive Plans 2019 and 2020, page 8).
This strategic issue was carried over to SIPOA’s Strategic Plans for 2021 (page 6) and 2022 (page 6). The goal was set to study the capabilities and utilization of the Lake House and Oyster Catcher facilities and to propose enhancements and/or upgrades to reflect forecasted demographic changes on Seabrook Island and maintain the competitiveness of Seabrook Island to comparable private beachfront communities (page 6).
This goal is also in SIPOA’s 2023 Strategic Plan: “advance and execute Renew 50 Project based on utilization studies and Property Owner growth projections. Evaluate options to accommodate additional meeting, fitness and wellness space” (page 7).
As Seabrook Island continues to grow in population and utilization of our existing facilities, SIPOA facilities need to remain attractive to current owners and prospective new owners.
Property Owners ranked facilities improvements as high priority in both the 2020 and 2022 Property Owner Surveys. In these surveys, respondents were asked to rank 5 important planning issues identified by the Long Range Planning Committee. In both surveys, the #1 ranked response was flooding and drainage. The #2 ranked response in 2022 was facilities improvements/upgrades, up from the #4 ranked response in 2020 (page 6).
In 2020, the Board authorized the Long-Range Planning Committee to establish a Facilities subcommittee to evaluate facility needs, based on studies of current usage, projected demographics, future activity trends, and recreational, social and educational needs of the community.
The subcommittee was later renamed the Renew 50 subcommittee to commemorate the 50th anniversary of SIPOA in 2024. The subcommittee released its initial concept for a new Oyster Catcher facility in February 2023 for Property Owner feedback. Subsequently 15-20% of Property Owners provided feedback with main objections of design, cost and location being consistent.
As a result, SIPOA retired the Oyster Catcher proposal in June 2023.
The subcommittee has reached out to the North American Land Trust (NALT) to develop a mutual understanding of the Lake House options and expansion of the conservation value of the Lake House property. Considerations regarding the scope of the options will be based on additional Property Owner input and usage data. While the main focus of the Renew 50 subcommittee is now to concentrate on improvements to the Lake House site, Oyster Catcher improvement options will be considered as part of a comprehensive facilities plan.
At its August 21 meeting, the Board authorized entering into an agreement with Management Matters to review the Lake House Utilization Analysis (phase 1); to create and conduct a Property Owner survey; compile and analyze responses; (phase 2); to facilitate Property Owner focus groups and prepare reports on findings (phase 3). There will be a management review and a decision to proceed (or not) by the Renew 50 oversight leadership team at the conclusion of each phase.
Additional updates will be posted on this website under the Current Status.
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