Allowing RVs to set up on the beach for a fee - an accepted practice in Florida and California, according to RV enthusiasts - would create an unsightly, noisy appearance and could pollute the waterfront, say opponents. The area could "turn into one continuous tailgate party," Grandinetti said.
The association, which obtained a court order to stage a recent Boardwalk protest, will take additional legal action if needed, he said.
At least one more demonstration is likely before Aug. 18, when campers are expected to arrive as part of a beach festival near the site, just south of the Wildwoods Convention Center, Grandinetti said.
Mayor Ernie Troiano and the three-member City Commission in July awarded a five-year contract to a California company, Point Break Group Management L.L.C., to operate the RV campground for up to 78 vehicles between Taylor and Hand Avenues. The company will rent 60- and 30-foot-wide slots for $120 to $150 a night.
Vehicles will enter the beach at Cresse Avenue, where the Boardwalk ends, and travel a three-block path on hard-packed sand to the camping area, according to officials.
Revenue eventually could funnel $200,000 a year into the municipal coffers, the city has said.
Wildwood faced a $3 million budget shortfall this year, the city's worst financial bind in 30 years, City Commissioner Pete Byron said last week.
To continue paying for beach upkeep without a tax increase, the city has looked to the beach itself as a revenue generator and has come up with creative ideas, Byron said.
The "comprehensive beach plan" does not rule out a beach-tag fee, officials have said.
Wildwood began selling permits for horseback riding on the beach last winter. And it has leased about 100 "beach boxes," wooden storage units, for $400 a season so regulars can leave gear near the water's edge.
Point Break has taken about two dozen reservations for the RV camp sites, Byron said. The management company will provide continuous on-site security and enforce various regulations, such as RVs size and age - no older than 18 years, to ensure that they are up to modern standards, he said.
"It's not going to be a tailgate party out here at all," Byron said.
The company, founded by Ian Cairns, an Australian surf-event planner, could not be reached for comment.
Starting next year, beach camping will be permitted between Memorial Day and Labor Day. RV camping on the beach previously was allowed on a small scale during a handful of tournaments and sporting events, but only for those connected with those activities.
In the camping world, such sites are considered rustic. They offer no sewer or electricity hookups. Campers will have access to fresh water but will not be allowed to dump "gray water" or other effluent in Wildwood.
Grandinetti said residents of Ocean Towers, which is adjacent to the proposed area, and some others are concerned that a possible honky-tonk appearance could have a negative economic effect on the city.
"What they think they are going to bring in by renting out the campsites could eventually bring down the property values and eventually keep future business out and the tax rate" high, he said.
Byron defended the plan and the RV owners, saying many of those who will use the campground paid more for their vehicles than the condo owners spent on their units.
"People are overreacting," he said. "Camping on the beach is something that is offered in many locales," some "more upscale than Wildwood."
There is a break in the boardwalk at Cresse that often is used by vehicle caravans arriving to set up concerts, tournaments, and other events.
But the beachfront there is a "choke point," according to lawyer Karim Kaspar, an Ocean Towers resident who is representing the condo association.
"Residents are very concerned about the safety issues," Kaspar said. "This is a very congested area in the summertime, with families going to the beach, walking on the boardwalk, bicycles. . . . We think it's the worst possible location."
The RVs would park in a less congested area. On the landward side, the campsites are about two-tenths of a mile from residences, which are buffered by the convention center parking lot and dunes. The ocean is about an eighth of a mile away.
Condo residents are concerned that campers might pollute the environment with motor oil and fuel that could leak into the sand, and with the discharge of sewage and other effluent, Kaspar said.
Because there are no utility hookups, staying at the site will require RVs to generate their own power and retain wastewater and sewage, city officials say.
Jerry Yeatts, executive director of the national Family Motor Coach Association, a group of 85,000 RV aficionados, said the opponents' fears were misplaced.
"It is a different clientele than they think it is," said Yeatts, who said high-end campers can cost up to $1 million.
RVs in that category have quiet, onboard generators and state-of-the-art holding tanks for effluent, he said.
"The code of ethics for our members actually calls for them to leave a place better than when they arrived and to be good neighbors while they are there," Yeatts said. "Many of the people who own these RVs consider them their home on wheels, and people generally respect their homes."
Not everyone in the neighborhood opposes the RV idea. Mary Leonetti, whose family has a nearby condo, says beach camping could attract tourists.
"If it's handled right, it could be a good thing," said Leonetti, a retiree. "Anything that can keep our taxes down and our beaches free is fine with me."
Contact Jacqueline L. Urgo at 609-652-8282 or email@example.com. Read the Jersey Shore blog "Downashore" at www.philly.com/downashore.