Located just west of Atlantic City, Egg Harbor Township is a modest community of just over 12,000 people. It’s the hometown of Biz Markie, the location of amusement park Storybook Land, and one of the only spots in the state where you can find a medical marijuana dispensary. It’s also home to Egg Harbor River Resorts, a onetime campground which now contains 40 tiny houses and their residents, several of whom have been there for over a decade.
The community has come under fire, however, and its residents may be forced to relocate before the year is through.
The issue at hand is a legal one. The township argues that the site was never intended for year-round living, and has told residents that they must shift to weekend-only residency or leave. Egg Harbor Township has engaged in legal battles with the site’s owner, Paul St. James, repeatedly over the years; this article details the history of conflicts between the two.
Further complicating matters? The residents of the community have argued that they moved there after being assured that they’d be able to reside there full-time — and that the marketing materials for the former campground made this claim as well. Several of the residents quoted in a recent NJ.com article about the park cite economic concerns as restricting their ability to easily relocate.
That’s a serious concern for many of the residents there — and many residents of tiny homes, period. While tiny houses are beloved by many design aficionados for their efficient use of space and innovative qualities, they also offer a pragmatic answer to easing poverty, limiting homelessness, and increasing homeownership.
The residents of Egg Harbor River Resorts have formed an advocacy group, Save EHRR, to work with the town’s government to find a solution. At present, the town’s deadline of November 1st looms large for this small and closely-knit community.
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