County: No RVs without approval

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Wildwood officials continue to say campers will hit the beach this summer

WILDWOOD -- If RVs show up on Wildwood beaches without the health department’s approval, it will most likely be shut down, Cape May County Health Officer Kevin Thomas said.

Thomas said that Wildwood has not received approval from the health department to operate a campground, and without this approval, the campground will be a violation.

“I have to see plans,” Thomas said. He said he had requested the plans for the RV park be sent to him about two weeks ago after he had seen news of the campground in the local papers. He said the city has not followed up his request.

It is the latest conflicting information about the controversial proposal. This week, stakes marking off the sites for the RVs were taken up. However, although all the visible markers of the RV park have been removed, commissioners are saying RVs could be rolling in Labor Day weekend.

“We’re looking to have a fair amount of RVs on the beach for Labor Day weekend,” Commissioner Tony Leonetti said. “We’re really pushing for that.”

City officials have stated that there have been no reservations made for the RV park so far.

Leonetti said he and the other commissioners had met and discussed the RV park situation.

However, if this meeting was outside of a public meeting or executive session, doing so would seem to be a violation of the Open Public Meetings Act. Because Wildwood’s commission form of government is made up of three individuals, if two commissioners discuss public issues outside of a public meeting, it is a violation under the act.

Leonetti and Mayor Ernie Troiano did not return phone calls to explain the situation by presstime Wednesday.

Leonetti’s claim that RVs could be on the beach come Labor Day also contradicts reliable information the Leader received that the park would not happen this summer.

Commissioner Pete Byron had said last week that there were no reservations set for the RV park, but it was not the city’s intention to abandon the plan.

Ocean Towers Condominium Association President Bob Grandinetti, who also organized protests and petitions against the RV park, said all the stakes marking the RV parking spots on the beach had been removed Sunday. He added that all vehicle traffic onto the beach at Cresse Avenue had been halted and the entrance was closed off.

These parking spots on the beach were supposed to cost between $120 and $150 per night, and would be one of the new “recurring revenue” items set for the city’s 2012 budget.

Byron said last week that if there are no reservations for the RV park this year, it would not have any major impact on the city’s budget.

“Most of the revenue from the beach was expected to start in 2013,” he said.

The proposal encountered strong opposition, especially from the owners of condominiums in the neighborhood. Critics have held demonstrations and campaigned against allowing the RV on the beach.

Christie Rotondo can be emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story at www.shorenewstoday.com. 


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