The complete ARB Standards and Guidelines, Designing with Nature, can be found here. Please contact the ARB office if you would like to speak to an ARB representative regarding specific information.

The Kiawah Island ARB meets twice a month, on the first and third Wednesdays. The Cassique ARB meets once a month, on the second Thursday of the month.

Although the review facet of the ARB meeting is limited to homeowners and their design team, a portion of the meeting is reserved for appointments with property owners and design professionals in relation to ongoing projects. Please contact the ARB staff to discuss any concerns you may have.

A list of new homes currently under review by the ARB is available on this website. You may also request notification when plans are submitted for a property. These plans may only be reviewed in the ARB office and may not be borrowed or copied.

The ARB will consider a variance that complies with criteria as described on page 12 of Designing with Nature. All variances must be brought to the attention of the ARB during the review process and cannot be approved after construction begins. Surveyor or contractor error cannot be considered a “hardship” that supports a variance.

The permit and review fees compensate the ARB staff and Board for the time involved in reviewing, processing, and inspecting each project.

The ARB construction deposit, whether for new home, demolition, or improvement construction, ensures that work on Kiawah complies with the ARB Standards and Guidelines in Designing with Nature.

Existing Homes

Any exterior work being done to a home or its landscaping needs approval and a permit from the ARB prior to starting work. The Board requires this to ensure that each home on Kiawah continues to blend with its neighborhood and natural environment. Please contact the ARB for specifics regarding your planned project. A Kiawah Island building permit must be issued prior to commencement of any clearing, material delivery, painting, or construction.

Submittal requirements depend on the scope of the planned project. All ARB permits require a Construction Application Deposit and Agreement Form, a KICA Encroachment Permit or Waiver, a Permit/Review Fee, and a Construction Deposit. Because the Fees and Deposits are based on the scope of work being planned, please contact the ARB to determine the amounts for your project. Please visit the ARB Forms page for commonly used improvement review forms.

Please refer to pages 24 – 28 of Designing with Nature for an overview of many possible appurtenances to homes. If the sections listed do not cover what you are considering or you have more specific questions, please contact the ARB. We will be happy to help you with any questions you may have.

Most improvements are reviewed by the ARB staff and are typically completed within a few weeks. Maintenance improvement reviews are typically complete within 1-2 weeks. ARB staff will notify the applicant once determinations have been made.

All exterior colors should complement the natural surrounding environment. The ARB requires that all colors be reviewed on-site prior to painting of homes. Paint samples must be a minimum size of one (1) foot by one (1) foot, and applied in an obvious area to the color-specific materials (i.e. siding color with siding material). The homeowner or contractor must also submit an Onsite Color Review Form outlining all colors to be painted on the home. Once the form is approved by the ARB, you may then proceed with the permitting process.

Yes, even if repainting your home the same color, ARB Review and Permit is required to ensure that the colors comply with the current guidelines. Please visit the ARB Forms page for the required review forms.

For villa, cottage, and townhouse owners with regime or association managed properties, written approval of any exterior changes must be received from the Regime or Association Board prior to submitting to the ARB for an Improvement Review. For more information regarding Regime neighborhoods, please click here.

Please contact your regime manager regarding any proposed projects you have for your home or unit. As with all homes on Kiawah, any exterior improvement requires an ARB review and building permit.

The ARB should be notified upon project completion and will then conduct a final inspection of the completed work. Once the property has been inspected and the release of the deposit approved, the refund process will begin. The refund typically takes two (2) weeks to be processed. If the address on the original deposit check is no longer correct, please notify the ARB. If an accurate return address is not disclosed in advance, the refund check may be delayed.

New Homes

The length of the new home review process depends of a variety of factors. These may include design, construction, or landscaping concerns, your design professionals’ schedule, and other related factors. The ARB collaborates with property owners, architects, and contractors to facilitate this process. We suggest allowing six months for ARB review in your construction schedule.

There are several Kiawah Island neighborhoods with covenant specific guidelines that the property owner, architect, contractor, and landscape architect should note. These extended guidelines will shape how a home is designed, what materials are chosen, how landscape is utilized, etc. Please visit the ARB standards and guidelines page to determine if your property is located in a neighborhood that has extended guidelines.

The new home review process begins with a Site Analysis with the ARB Landscape Coordinator followed by three reviews with the Board – Conceptual, Preliminary, and Final. Please see Designing with Nature for specific requirements of each submittal. Once Final approval is received, the architect and/or contractor should address any outstanding concerns prior to submitting for a permit.

Only completed projects can be accepted for ARB meetings. Please reviewed the requirements for each stage of submittal and gather all items prior to sending to the ARB office. Incomplete submittals may not be reviewed.

You will need to complete a Construction or Design Change Application form, outlining the changes you would like to make. Revised drawings are typically necessary for review of the proposed change. The ARB does not charge a design change review fee for the first design change unless the change is substantial. Subsequent design changes are subject to ARB design change fees.

Permitting submittals must have a digital copy of construction drawings for permit stamping by the ARB. Please ensure that the site plan is at an engineering scale (many architects utilize the 1/10 scale) and the lot coverage percentage is indicated. Submittals also require a completed Construction Application Deposit & Agreement form, a KICA Encroachment Permit, and the required deposit for new construction. Onsite tree protection must be complete prior to submittal for ARB permitting.

Please see page 43 of Designing with Nature guidelines to review a complete list of before construction requirements.

Please refer to page 44 through page 45 of Designing with Nature for site construction requirements. If you have specific questions, please contact the ARB.

The foundation inspection is the first inspection of new home construction. When the foundation is complete, the contractor must submit a Foundation Survey depicting the location of the setbacks and showing the distances from all foundation corners to adjacent property lines. This survey must be turned in prior to first floor framing or the Contractor will be subject to a foundation fine. It is the Contractor’s responsibility to verify that the correct information is on the survey prior to submittal. The foundation portion of the deposit will be returned after approval of the survey.

The Sample Board review is the second inspection of new home construction. Once the structure framing is complete, the Contractor must submit a completed Onsite Color Review Form and notify the ARB that the sample board is ready for review. The Sample Board must depict all exterior finishes and materials. The color form must be approved by the ARB prior to the application or installation of color or color specific material on the home.

A new home Final Inspection is required prior to the refund of your deposit. There are several requirements that must be satisfied prior to applying for the new home Final Inspection: an as-built survey, landscape certification (by your Landscape Architect), KICA Encroachment Inspection, color photographs of all elevations, and the approved color form (submitted during Onsite Color Review). In order to expedite your Final Inspection, please submit all remaining requirements at the same time.

Please review full survey requirements here. Prior to submittal, please verify that the as-built survey is complete to prevent any unnecessary delays.

Site and Landscaping

Generally, the Board only approves of the removal of a tree if it is diseased, damaged, or poses a threat to persons or structures (i.e. it is leaning excessively). This allows the ARB to preserve Kiawah’s most valuable asset, which is its natural beauty. To request removal, a completed Vegetation Removal Request form signed by the homeowner and landscape contractor must be submitted. The ARB Landscape Coordinator will review the request and indicate if a certified arborist is required for further evaluation. The Landscape Coordinator will then indicate if the work is authorized and if mitigation is necessary.

The necessity for ARB approval will depend on the scope of work planned. Please contact the ARB to determine requirements.

Bush hogging is allowed, but must follow strict guidelines. Please review additional bush hogging information here. Please contact the ARB prior to beginning work to confirm intent and discuss site specific requirements with the Landscape Coordinator.

Property owners of undeveloped lots in Cassique are asked to ensure a kempt yet native appearance by removing any limbs, trees, undergrowth, and vines that have died. Please review the Cassique requirements for undeveloped lot maintenance here. While you may have this maintenance service conducted with the company of your choice, the Cassique Property Owners Association can suggest landscape contractors have worked in the Cassique Community and know what is expected. An ARB Permit is not required for this scope of work.

All vegetation removal, including view pruning, must be reviewed and approved by the ARB prior to beginning of work. To request view pruning, a completed Vegetation Removal Request form signed by the homeowner and landscape contractor must be submitted. The ARB Landscape Coordinator will review the request and indicate if the work is authorized and if mitigation is necessary.

These ribbons indicate trees that have been surveyed, one of the first requirements in the review process. Evaluation of which trees should be preserved occurs during the site analysis and continues throughout the home’s review.