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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR 97204

Noise Variances

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Noise Office requests that variance applications be submitted by email at Payment can be made online through DevHub. If you are unfamiliar with this, please email us, and we'll send you directions.

If you have submitted a time-sensitive variance application and need to cancel due to the current state-of-emergency, please let us know. Please include your permit number so we can easily find it in our database.  If your event will be postponed until later in 2020, rather than canceled, we are waiving the date-change fee until the state-of-emergency is over.

for activities that make more noise than our Code allows, or if your construction project takes place outside of permitted construction hours, you will need a noise variance. For information and instructions on noise variances, please take a look at our instruction sheet.





Getting an Application

We have separate applications for construction requests, and all other activities. We also have an instruction sheet to help you fill out your application.  For more information, please call our Noise Hotline at 503-823-7350, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Review Process

Applications for large activities, or activities lasting for a year or more are reviewed by the Noise Review Board (a volunteer group with monthly meetings). Variances going before the Noise Review Board are decided within 45 business days of receiving the completed application.

 The Noise Control Office reviews all other applications. When possible, a decision will be made within 10 business days of receiving of the completed application.


It may be possible to shorten the process if a faster review is needed. There is an additional fee for this, and the Noise Control Officer/Noise Review Board Chair would have to have enough time to look at the request to decide that the request is in the City’s interest. The Noise Control Office needs at least 3 business days to review the application. If a Noise Review Board variance is needed, the Chair of the Noise Review Board needs at least 7 business days for review.

Standards for review 

All applications will be reviewed considering the following measures:

  • The reason a variance is needed
  • Length of time the noise will be occurring
  • How many people the noise will impact
  • whether the public health, safety, or welfare is harmed
  • Whether the noise impact outweighs the benefit to the public

To appeal a variance decision to the City Council, the applicant or legal representative, or any person who has submitted oral or written testimony must take these steps:

  • Notice of the intent to appeal must be submitted in writing to the City Auditor’s Office within 10 days of the effective date of the decision.
  • The notice must identify the decision that is being appealed
  • It must include the appellant’s name, address and signature, phone number, relationship to the variance decision action, and a clear reason(s) for the appeal.
  • When the Auditor receives the appeal, they will schedule a date on the Calendar of the City Council.