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New Jersey Town to Lift Campground Residency Limits?

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The Woodbine, N.J., Borough Council last week introduced a measure repealing restrictions on year-round residency at its campgrounds.

The current rules require residents to vacate their campgrounds at least nine days per month between November and April. Council's ordinance would permit year-round residency at campgrounds such as Carol Lynn Resorts, owned by Councilman Anthony Saduk, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

Saduk abstained from Thursday's vote. He and his wife, Carol, opposed the changes, arguing that declaring the campgrounds year-round residences would saddle taxpayers with the cost of providing additional services such as trash collection.

Council President David Rodriguez said the ordinance will not lead to more public costs, but merely lets campers stay 12 months per year legally.

Rodriguez said many campers have been living at campgrounds year-round for the past 30 years in violation of the borough ordinance.

Saduk and his wife told tenants of their campground earlier this year that they had to choose between paying year-round and seasonal maintenance fees and reminding them that they have to leave their trailers for the required nine days each year, campground tenants said.

The Saduks' letter also warned that tenants could lose their year-round status if they didn't comply with the rules. Tenants said if they tried to sell their trailers, they wouldn't be able to transfer their year-round leases – that new ones would have to be seasonal, which they said would lower the value of their trailers.

The campers have 99-year leases and pay property taxes.

The letter said that overuse of the campsites had become a problem, burdening the campground's facilities.

Some campground tenants thought the letter and the maintenance fees were reasonable, but others sought legal help, and asked the borough council to eliminate the residency restrictions.

Carol Saduk said in October that she wanted Carol Lynn Resorts to be a campground, not a mobile home park. "I want to be in the campground business. My feeling is this change in ordinance wants me to become a low-cost housing project. I don't think that's fair."

Prior to the dispute in the fall, the state Department of Community Affairs had added rules that said campground residents could stay only for six months of the year. State Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, intervened and the DCA agreed to exempt existing campground residents from the rules, so the regulations would only apply to new tenants.

However, tenants still must obey municipal rules and regulations, including residency restrictions, according to Van Drew.

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