Complaints are not processed immediately. Processing time varies based on submission volume. Please allow at least two weeks for processing of your complaint.
Noises not addressed by the Noise Program
The Noise Program does not have the authority to address the following types of noise disturbances:
- Animal noises from residences (i.e., barking dogs): Please contact Multnomah County Animal Services at 503-988-7387 or check out its Barking Dog Nuisance Guide.
- Chickens/roosters and urban wildlife: Please contact Multnomah County Environmental Health at 503-988-7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Aircraft-in-flight (i.e., planes and helicopters): Please contact the Port of Portland at 503-460-4100.
- Train activity regulated by Federal Code: Please contact the Federal Railway Administration at 1-800-724-5998.
- Vehicle noise: Please contact the non-emergency police dispatch at 503-823-3333.
- Watercraft: Please contact the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office River Patrol at 503-988-6788.
- Garbage/recycling noise: Please contact the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at 503-823-7202.
- Noise from human voices: Covered under Oregon and Federal Freedom of Speech rights unless voices are so loud as to be considered “disturbing the peace,” in which case, please contact the non-emergency police dispatch at 503-823-3333.
- Children at play: The City of Portland’s Noise Office does not regulate children and the various recreational equipment they use such as basketball nets or skateboard ramps.
- Daycare operations: We do not regulate daycare operations and the sounds from children at daycare facilities.
- Emergency warning devices: Devices used to alert the public of a potential danger such as back up alarms, first responder vehicle sirens, garage vehicle exiting warning devices, and similar warning sounds.
Noises addressed by the Noise Program
The enforcement authority of the Noise Program is established by Portland City Code Title 18, Noise Code. The program’s primary focus is to address and educate the public on the following types of noise disturbances within Portland city limits:
- Amplified sounds (announcements, music, events, etc.)
- Commercial and industrial operations
- Residential mechanical equipment
- Motor vehicles (in rare cases)
- Home equipment and powered tools
- Leaf blowers
- Construction and construction equipment
If you believe that there is a possible noise violation and wish to report it to our office, please only report the incident and location once. Duplicate reports will only slow down the process.
If you are submitting a complaint about construction work on a city street, please indicate if the work is being done by Portland Bureau of Transportation, Bureau of Environmental Services, or the Portland Water Bureau. If the construction work is being done by any of these City of Portland bureaus, please check their website first for detailed information about the project before contacting our office.
Once a case is opened, the complainant will receive an email message from the Noise Office with the case number and next steps. If the warning letter does not resolve the issue after two weeks, the complainant should email the Noise Office directly with the recent dates and time frames of the incident they reported. A follow-up email message is far more helpful than continuously submitting an online complaint.
What is the acceptable level of noise in my area?
The Noise Program scientifically measures the level of noise in decibels based on the zone in which you live or work to determine if a source of noise violates the code. The table below shows the allowable decibel levels set by the zoning of where the noise is coming from (source zone), as it is heard and measured with a noise meter at a separate property where the noise is heard (receiver zone).
We have Sound Level Meters that can be loaned out to help you determine if a violation might exist. These meters must be borrowed from Noise Program staff at our offices at 1900 SW Fourth Avenue downtown at a prescheduled time. Please note, our meters are only to help determine a baseline sound so a noise inspector can follow up, if needed, and require a deposit of $60. The deposit will be returned to you when the sound meter is returned to Noise Program staff.
We cannot discuss sound readings taken with cell phone apps or multi-meters as their level of accuracy is not reliable.
Please note: If you do not find an appointment slot for a sound level meter pickup in our online booking system, it means that all devices are currently checked out. We understand the importance of these devices for your noise-related concerns, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We kindly invite you to check back for availability after two weeks. This is the usual borrowing period for sound level meters per person, and it allows us to serve all our valued customers fairly.
Permissible Sound Levels (7 a.m. to 10 p.m., otherwise subtract 5 dBA)
(where sound is coming from)
(where sound is received, measured at property line)
What to do if you believe noise is violating the City of Portland’s Noise Code
For most neighbor-to-neighbor noise concerns, the very first place to begin is to reach out to your neighbor. Many times, issues can be resolved by working together.
As noted above, the Noise Program has sound level meters that can be loaned out to help determine if a violation might exist. Our meters only help to determine a baseline sound so a noise inspector can follow up if needed.
Submit a noise complaint
If your complaint falls within the Noise Program’s authority (see list above), you can fill out an online complaint form (see link below). When the program receives a complaint, it will be reviewed to see if it qualifies as a Noise Code violation. If it does not, the case will be closed. If it does, the Noise Program will issue a warning letter to the source of the noise. If that does not resolve the issue, a Noise Control Officer will make direct contact with the source of the noise to try and resolve it and may possibly issue a citation.
For more information, email the Noise Program at email@example.com or call us at 503-823-7350 Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you are reporting noise currently in progress after 10 p.m., please contact the Police non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.
New complaint cases can also be submitted by calling the City 311 phone line.