About Our Program
As Portland’s population grows, the need to equitably address environmental health issues like noise pollution is increasingly important. The Office of Community & 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 — like music festivals, the Portland Marathon, and construction— and educates the public on the health issue of urban noise pollution by enforcing the City’s Noise Code Title 18.
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 to allow the event to take place by following certain terms. Some of the many variance requests we process each year include music events 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.
We also process many construction-related noise code variance requests, 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.
Noise Program Brochure
Download the Noise Program's brochure:
Supporting Portland Businesses as They Reopen
Many businesses have been prioritizing the health of their employees and customers by offering alternative outdoor experiences. These new changes may cause neighbors to hear more noise during operating hours. To help businesses run successfully and maintain goodwill with neighbors, we want to provide important information about the City of Portland’s noise code. To learn more please read our brochure:
- Amplified sounds (speech, music, events, parades)
- Commercial and industrial operations
- Residential HVAC equipment
- Motor vehicles (in rare cases)
- Home equipment and powered tools
- Leaf blowers
- Construction and construction equipment
To report any of the above types of noise disturbances, please file using the online noise complaint form or email the Noise Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Types of Noises Not Regulated 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.
- Chickens/roosters and urban wildlife- Please contact the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at 503-823-1174.
- 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 Harbor Master at 503-241-8283
- 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 response vehicle sirens , garage vehicle exiting warning devices, and similar warning sounds.
The Noise Review Board works to improve neighborhood livability by striking a balance between sound-generating activities related to construction and special events, and the desire for livable communities. The board reviews applications for noise variance permits for large events and construction that impact a lot of people and take place over a long period of time. The board also works with the Noise Program to advise and make recommendations to the Portland City Council on sound-related code and policy decisions. The Noise Review Board holds meetings on the second Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m.
The board is comprised of five members — three community member-at-large positions, a representative from the construction industry, and a professional in the field of acoustics. Volunteers serve on the Noise Review Board for three-year terms and may serve a maximum of two terms. All meetings are open to the public and have time available for public comment. Find out more about the Noise Review Board here.
- 8am to 5pm, Monday – Friday
- 1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR 97204; Note: the office is currently closed due to COVID-19.
- Email us at email@example.com.
- Call us at 503-823-7350.
Promote the Common Good: Civic Life is building stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders. We think, act, and partner with our communities to better understand and take care of their diverse needs. We invite you to join us in this continuous, much needed work to make our communities safer and more welcoming for all.