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New Jersey Campground Fights State Law

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Some residents at a New Jersey borough campground are looking for a new place to live this fall. 

Carol Lynn Resort Campground in Woodbine is complying with new state residency rules that limit stays to six months per year. 

For some residents in the campground, which includes more than 100 homes, that will mean an unexpected move, according to thePress of Atlantic City

"Where are these people supposed to go?" resident Victor Morales asked. 

He and his wife, Jane, lived at Carol Lynn Resort for the past 10 years after he retired from the U.S. Post Office in Sussex County. They enjoyed the campground life year-round. 

Now they hope to sell their park model trailer and move. 

The New Jersey Campground Owners Association, based in Middle Township, is trying to expand the six-month season designated last year by the state Department of Community Affairs. But so far the state and the association have not reached an agreement about the season. 

DCA spokesman Chris Donnelly said in an e-mail that time limits that went into effect in August stem from the electric code. 

"Park models are not intended for year-round use, regardless of where they are situated," Donnelly said. "The issue with park models arises from a section of the National Electric Code. The electrical system of park models is intended for seasonal use only." 

Nonsense, said Anthony "Smokey" Saduk, owner of Carol Lynn Resorts. 

"In these new recreational park models, the wiring is the same as that in a house," he said. "Our people feed the local economy. They keep the restaurants and gas stations open and they buy cars." 

The campground association proposed extending the season from March 1 to Nov. 1 with 20 days of permitted use per month in the winter. But the state rejected that as too generous an interpretation of the rules. 

"Still, we have expressed a desire to work with this community in order to come up with a solution that is both reasonable and ensures the public safety," Donnelly said. 

Saduk, who serves as a Woodbine councilman, said if the campground ignored the rules, any penalties would fall on him as the owner. 

"We're not a (homeowners) association. I'm the one who would have to answer to it," he said. 

The campground's own residency rules discouraged residents who had children, which meant the campground did not place an extra burden on school taxpayers, Saduk said. 

Meanwhile, residents said they do not have the means to buy a home at the shore. The campgrounds had offered a more economical alternative. 

"I wouldn't have come here to live year-round if I had known we would have to leave," Jane Morales said. 

Some of the residents met privately Monday (July 6) with Woodbine Mayor William Pikolycky. The mayor, a longtime running-mate of Saduk's, said he has no complaint with the year-round campground. 

"The old regulations were fine. A campground being open all year didn't affect the borough," he said. "This kind of caught everyone by surprise. I don't know what to tell people other than to contact their attorneys." 

Len Day has been at the campground five years. He said he does not blame the park owners for the eviction notice. 

"If it's the law, it's the law," he said. "You couldn't ask for nicer people. They go out of their way to help you. If there was any way they could stop it, they would be the first to do so." 

Al and Dolores Ripa said they plan to sell their place and move to Florida. But they worry about their elderly neighbors, some of whom have lived at the campground for more than 20 years. 

"I'm not worried about myself. I'm worried about the senior citizens," said Al Ripa, a bus driver and retired U.S. Marine who served in the Vietnam War. 

His two dogs, Smoky and Woo-Woo, barked at the front fence under the two Marine and prisoner of war flags. 

"We've got to fight," he said.

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