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Creating a Vibrant City

News article

Civic Life's Noise Program supports the city’s lively spirit, safety, and health by reviewing requests for City noise code variances for exciting and essential events. We also educate the public on the human health issue of urban noise pollution by enforcing the City's Noise Code Title 18.

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As Portland’s population grows, the need to address quality-of-life issues like noise is increasingly important. Civic Life’s Noise Program supports the city’s lively spirit, safety, and livability by issuing noise variance permits for exciting and essential functions — like music festivals, the Portland Marathon, and construction — while enforcing the City's Noise Code.

We live in a vibrant city with many events. Naturally, some of the events happening around Portland are expected to be louder than our Noise Code allows. When this happens, the Noise Program issues a noise variance permit to allow the event to take place by following certain terms. Some of the many permits we process each year include music celebrations like the Rose Festival, the Waterfront Blues Festival, the Oregon Humane Society's Doggie Dash, the Portland Marathon, and numerous weddings in our neighborhood parks.

The program also processes many construction-related permits, which allows construction to take place outside of normal hours. We work with other agencies repairing and replacing our sewers, bridges, and roads, trying to balance the need for sleep, safety issues, and traffic impacts. We also work with commercial construction to help ease the housing shortage and provide spaces for businesses to thrive. Find out more about the Noise Program here.