Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Neighborhood Involvement

Building inclusive, safe and livable neighborhoods and communities.

ONI Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204


1221 SW 4th Ave Room 110
Portland, OR 97204


Paul van Orden, Noise Control Officer


Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

Noise Control Program





Noise Task Force

Commissioner Fritz is convening a short-term Noise Code Task Force to address specific issues pertaining to the City’s Noise Code (Title 18).

The Task Force will meet between September and November 2015 to discuss three primary issues that emerged in recent City Council hearings:

  •  the Noise variance and appeals process
  • the possibility of greater regulatory authority around specific types of construction equipment as it pertains to the Noise Code
  • Considering Noise Code regulations in employment “EX” zones

For the application, along with other materials as we receive them, please go to our Noise Task Force page.  For an overview of the Task Force meetings, please go to the Noise Task Force Schedule.





In the busy months from May to October, and with the limited number of staff in the City of Portland’s Noise Control Office, we want to make sure to provide realistic response expectations to our community members for noise complaints. This allows us to effectively process the most critical cases.

The Noise Control Office uses a 3 category system to assign enforcement resources. 

 Priority 1 cases are the most urgent cases and our Noise Inspector will continue to respond to these situations as the main focus.

 Priority 2 cases are less urgent and we are only able to apply limited field resources to try to resolve these cases.

Priority 3 cases are considered low priority and no field work toward enforcement/compliance action will be taken at this time.  A basic warning letter will be sent in some Priority 3 cases.  This is intended to help develop a case the Noise Control Office may be able to inspect at a later point when the workload has slowed down.



Priority 1


  •  Noise that disturbs at least three or more separate households
  •  Noise disturbances past 10 PM and earlier than 7 AM
  •  Construction work specifically after 10 PM and Before 7 AM  
  • Mechanical Equipment, (such as HVAC, vent fans, cooling equipment and similar machinery) which is easily documented by staff to exceed the existing ambient sound levels by more than 10 decibels (dBA FAST) and is in violation of the applicable Land Use Zones.

Priority 2


  • Construction noise violations on Sundays and evenings up to 10 PM; with properly completed, signed, and submitted citizen complaint logs
  • Noise complaints that receive a second follow up online complaint or phone call for service with effort from a complainant to document an ongoing and consistent noise violation
  • Industrial/Commercial code violations impacting residential areas
  • Events operating without a Noise Variance
  • Persistent noise issues that have been recorded with complaint logs and citizen noise readings with a signed out noise meter between 7 AM and 10 PM
  • Leaf Blowers operating outside the code established hours of operation based on zoning related time limitations
  • Band rehearsal cases at a residential location with regular  practice time



Priority 3


  •     Sounds coming from one apartment or condo and carrying into a neighboring apartment or condo in the same building.  These cases are legally landlord/tenant issues or for discussion at a condo homeowners association.  If it is a case of a neighbor  "Disturbing the Peace", a citizen can call non -emergency for response at 503-823-3333
  • Intermittent noise sources  that cannot be documented  with a properly completed citizen complaint  log to have any regularity
  • Sounds where the complainant can't  tell us where the source is coming from with any specificity
  • Street  musician cases
  • Residential stereos up to 10 PM
  • Daytime Construction concerns from 7 am to 6 pm, unless a person describes the operation of a "vactor" style vacuum truck
  • Leaf blowers, if operated within the allowed hours
  • Sporadic noise issues that are intermittent (such as/ but not limited to motor vehicles on roadway with no exhaust, car stereos, ice cream trucks , and other noise in the right-of-way, etc)
  • Ongoing car related  issues at residence (car exhaust, car stereo, car alarm, etc)
  • Doggy Daycare and other  similar animal related  noise issues


Office of Neighborhood Involvement
Noise Control Program
1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110
Portland, OR  97204
Ph: 503-823-7350
Fx: 503-823-3050