Amending the noise ordinance

In a position statement on amending the noise ordinance in Bend, BNC calls for reducing decibel levels in residential zones to match those in Portland, Salem, and Corvallis. Current standards in the Bend code allow volume levels during daytime hours that sound twice as loud.

The statement also proposes that decibel limits be set for mixed use zones. There is no standard at this time, and City staff has previously written to event organizers telling them they could use the highest limits in the code (for industrial zones) in these areas. More mixed use zones are anticipated going forward, allowing both commercial and residential uses.

In addition to changes to the code, BNC proposes shifting responsibility for monitoring violations from residents to a City sound technician. This staff or contract person would work proactively to ensure that venues are in compliance and have the authority to cite violators, relieving police officers of most noise enforcement duties.

Two other proposals were made for future action: 1) Creating an outdoor music venue permit modeled on one in Austin, TX (“the live music capital of the world”); and 2) Planning for one or more entertainment districts away from residential areas, where the rules can be more relaxed.

To read the entire position statement, click here.

Author: Bend Neighborhood Coalition

Bend Neighborhood Coalition is the leading voice influencing policies that protect the quality of life in Bend's residential neighborhoods.