ASBURY PARK - City officials are sounding a bad note in the Jersey Shore community that prides itself as the place where music lives — and where Bruce Spingsteen got his start.
Some restaurants in downtown Asbury Park received notices from the city's zoning officer demanding expensive sound mitigation reports.
It appears to be the new enforcement of a law that has been on the books for years.
The order requires restaurants to have the city perform the checks before they can play any type of music, including from the radio.
The manager of Toast on Cookman Avenue says the dining spot has opted to shut off background music to avoid paying $1,500 for the report.
"It's deathly silent, uncomfortably silent without music," says Adam Solan, the manager. "You don't realize how important having background music is in a restaurant or store until it's gone."
If music is played at any level without approval from the city engineer, businesses face a fine up to $2,000 per day.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to the zoning officer, director of planning and the city administrator for comment, but they did not immediately respond.
Business owners say they've heard the issue will be discussed at the next City Council meeting on Wednesday.