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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

Noise Variances

If your activity will make more noise than the code allows, or it will occur outside permissible construction hours, then you must apply for a noise variance. 

Obtaining an Application

Noise variance applications are available at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave Room 110, in downtown Portland. You may also call (503) 823-7350 to request that an application be mailed to you or select noise variance application to download it from this website.

Review Process

The noise code requires that a fee be paid for the review of all variance applications. Payment must be received before the application can be reviewed. For information on applicable review fees, select noise variance application fees.

Public notification and feedback is an important component of the noise variance review process. Before initiating public notification, please contact the Noise Office at (503) 823-7350 regarding notification procedures and requirements.

Once received, your application will be reviewed by one of the following:

  • Noise Control Officer: Most applications fall into this category and a decision will be rendered by the Noise Control Officer within 10 business days of receipt of the completed application. Examples of activities that fall into this category include: block parties, entertainment events, rallies and construction work.
  • Noise Review Board: Applications deemed significant in terms of the noise level or the numbers of persons or properties affected will be reviewed by the Noise Review Board. Applications to be decided by the Noise Review Board shall be decided within 45 business days of receipt of the completed application. Examples of activities that fall into this category include: longer term or intrusive events and construction projects.

Accelerated review times are possible for an additional fee and provided that such accelerated review allows sufficient time for evaluation and is in the City's interest. For more information on accelerated review times, please contact the Noise Office at (503) 823-7350.

Criteria of Review

All applications will be reviewed considering the following criteria:

  • physical characteristics
  • times and duration of the emitted sound
  • geography
  • zone and population density of the affected area
  • public health and safety
  • whether the variance sought would produce hardship without equal or greater benefit to the public

A variance decision may be appealed to the City Council by the applicant, applicant's legal representative or by any person who has submitted oral or written testimony on the application. Notice of intent to appeal shall be submitted in writing to the City Auditor's™ office within 10 days of the effective decision.