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The Current

The Student News Site of Brookdale Community College

The Current

The Student News Site of Brookdale Community College

The Current

‘This Is My Hometown,’ Complain Long Branch Residents Opposed To Springsteen Museum


“I love Bruce Springsteen, but I don’t want him in my backyard.”

LONG BRANCH – At the Nov. 8 city council meeting, one frustrated resident vented to the council saying, “They didn’t even say they were building a museum; they said they’re changing the overlay. We don’t even know what that means!”
This is an architect’s drawing of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music to be built in Long Branch.
The City of Long Branch and Monmouth University sent a notification to Long Branch residents on Lot 70 to notify them of a vote on a zoning “overlay.”
At the Sept. 19 Long Branch Planning Board meeting, the board approved a “higher education overlay” to a residential area that previously allowed single-family dwellings. This new “overlay” paved the way for the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music to be built at Cedar and Norwood Avenue.
Local residents said they were confused and upset by the plan, noting that the township did not explain the purpose of the zoning change. They said officials had not notified them that a 30,000-square-foot museum that will likely draw crowds to the area is being planned.
“This is Bruce Springsteen. He’s a world famous artist. He said it in the press conference: Pilgrims come all over the world to drive pass his house in Freehold. How many will come to the corner of Norwood Avenue and Cedar to go to his archives?” asked one resident.
“It’s not classrooms; it’s a museum of Bruce Springsteen,” said a local resident who asked the city council to conduct a traffic study before approving the ordinance permitting the Springsteen museum. The resident concerned about public safety continued by sharing information he found, the “Johnny Cash museum gets 200,000 visitors a year, the Beatles museum gets 317,000 per year… Jimi Hendrix, 750,000 per year.. Safe to say that there’s going to be a few hundred thousand people coming to see the archives of Bruce Springsteen, especially the first few years that it’s open. I’m just asking this council, did anybody think about seeing how it’s going to impact traffic? How it’s going to impact public safety?”
At the Oct. 25 city council meeting, Louis N. Rainone, city attorney, suggested that Long Branch residents take their question to Monmouth University.
Residents said they learned about museum plans through an ABC news report. They also complained that only after the news became public were they notified of the zoning changes.
“This is our town. You can’t just throw things at us and expect us to just say OK or ignore it. We weren’t given proper notice. We don’t understand, properly what’s going on,” said one resident. “I can’t sleep every night with Bruce Springsteen in my ear.” The resident pleaded with the city council not to vote for the “overlay” or approve the Bruce Springsteen museum.
A Kirby Avenue resident, who is a mother to young children and is currently expecting another baby, said she worries about the dangers a Bruce Springsteen museum might attract to Long Branch.
“Putting a museum.. It’s literally in my backyard. It does sound like it’s going to be a major, major thing!
“It makes me very nervous, and I feel like if you guys are going to add something that’s going to attract the amount of people that he’s saying it sounds like it’s going to be really a scary thing. I have very young children… our block does… it’s really like a family block.”
Despite the pleads from multiple Long Branch residents, the city council voted to approve the ordinance for the zoning change.

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  • D

    Dail MoiseNov 14, 2023 at 9:01 PM

    Well written article, informative. Keep up the good work.

  • T

    Thomas NuaraNov 14, 2023 at 10:11 AM

    Great article so proud of you.