MAY 1, 2018
– Dave Jenkins
Synopsis of article published November 2015
In the beginning…
It was back near the end of the last century, but really not so long ago, that the founding father of Barefoot, Samuel W. Puglia (respectfully known as “Sammy”) was enjoying his smashing success as the developer who acquired a few nondescript Barefoot Shops with frontage on HWY 17 beside a cemetery and made clever use of the 27 acre freshwater lake and build-able land between HWY 17 and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
He created Barefoot Landing, a shopping and entertainment venue with 120 shops and restaurants plus entertainment at Alligator Adventure, the House of Blues and the Alabama Theatre. Barefoot Landing was such a success, it was South Carolina’s Most Popular Tourist Attraction in 1995, 1996, and 1997.
The vision takes shape
At the peak of Barefoot Landing’s popularity, Sammy Puglia was already thinking about expansion. Just across The Waterway from Barefoot Landing were several tracts of undeveloped land which seemed a logical place to expand Barefoot Landing, except for the fact that without a bridge across The Waterway, “you can’t get there from here”.
Among Sammy’s advisors was Mike Wooten of DDC Engineers, a local civil engineering firm, who advocated that a swing bridge would solve the problem. A suitable bridge was found dry-docked in North Carolina and could be floated down The Waterway and installed at the edge of Barefoot Landing.
A concerted effort was made to acquire and assemble the key tracts and resulted in a combined tract of “some 2,342.71 +/- acres” and a local attorney, Robert S.(Shep) Guyton and others among Sammy’s advisors began discussions with officials of the City of North Myrtle Beach on Sammy’s plan for annexation of that land by the City and a development agreement, known then as a P.U.D. or Planned Unit Development to be negotiated with the City.
Barefoot “Birth Certificate”
The “pre-birth” plan for Barefoot was the Development Agreement being negotiated between Mr. Puglia’s (Silver Carolina Development Company) and others and the City of North Myrtle Beach. The process was open to scrutiny by the City Planning Commission and City Planning staff and required formal enactment by the City Council.
The Planning Commission and City Council approvals for the development of Barefoot Resort came on October 16, 1999. The City enacted an Ordinance filed with Horry County on October 29, 1999.
This was the “birth certificate” of Barefoot Resort, although the name Barefoot Landing Resort was the first used to describe the project. As Sammy and Mike, Shep, and the others negotiated with the City, the Development Agreement took shape and a first version was filed with Horry County on March 22, 2000.
But a lot of work still had to be done. For instance, until the swing bridge was operational, golfers and their clubs had to be ferried by boat across The Waterway. The four Barefoot championship golf courses were each and all officially opened on April 13, 2000 in a feat which was said to be the first such venture in history where four new championship courses were opened at once in the same place.
The “Birth Certificate”, or Development Agreement, contained some elements of what Barefoot was intended to offer as a Resort. “The project is intended primarily to include a marina, a commercial business use area (including but not limited to uses such as retail, service, office, and professional), resort amenities, four golf courses, clubhouses, single-family residential use areas, multi-family residential use areas, support amenities, including pools, tennis courts, and fitness facilities, docks, accessory buildings and uses, transportation services, supporting infrastructure, and designated natural and open space areas, as indicated on the Silver Carolina Master Site Plan. The project appearance… will reflect the intention of the developer to establish a world-class resort. Upon completion, the entire project is intended to embody the essence of quality coastal living, with full-service support amenities.”
How should Barefoot be managed?
Because Barefoot was designed as a planned development to include so many aspects as enumerated in the Ordinance, the orderly control and management of these diverse elements needed “… a system of governance which affords flexibility yet provides a foundation for the overall development of Barefoot Resort, including its improvements, maintenance, administration and preservation as a master planned resort community embodying the essence of quality coastal living.”
The Barefoot Organization Chart – The Big Three
The diversity and varying interests among owners of Barefoot property required categorization with logic. The separation of (1) Residential and (2) Non Residential was logical but who could act as mediator? And who would oversee the main roads and common areas and infrastructure not logically belonging to either?
The solution was to establish a Joint Committee whose Board of Directors would be drawn from the original developer, the Non Residential Association, and the Residential Association. Thus the workload of governing Barefoot Resort was split three ways: (1) The Joint Committee (2) The Non Residential Association and (3) The Residential Association, which I call the “Big Three”.
NOTE: The Architectural Review Committee also ranked high in importance and Mr. Puglia’s veto power was the paramount authority. In the ensuing years, the ARC has evolved using delegated powers from the big three and fits in the organization chart as a direct arm of the Residential Association.
Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions – CCRs
Declarations of CCRs were prepared for each of the Big Three and were filed with Horry County (Register of Deeds) and each clearly established that its provisions ran with the land and were binding on initial purchasers and their successors.
NOTE: By operation of law, purchasers of Barefoot property are deemed to have knowledge of the CCRs running with the land and by purchasing the “real property” (land), to have agreed to them whether or not in fact they ever saw or paid any attention to them. They are often referred to as “the Governing Documents of Barefoot”.
How is the Joint Committee funded?
The First Amendment to The Joint Committee Bylaws replaced a complicated procedure with a “simple” provision for sharing common expenses between the Residential and Non Residential Associations:
“One third (1/3) of the Common Expenses shall be allocated to members of the Non Residential Association and two thirds (2/3) of the Common Expenses shall be allocated to members of the Residential Association.”
The Joint Committee has authority over designated main roads and their common areas. It also serves as mediator in divided opinions between the Non-Residential and Residential Associations.
Non-Residential and Residential Associations
See the chart below for properties designated as belonging to the NRA (Non-Residential Association) and to the BRRA (Barefoot Resort Residential Owners Association).
This chart named “Barefoot Resort Organization” is also linked on the BRRA Board page, the Joint Committee page, the About Barefoot Non-Residential page, and the About Barefoot Residential page.