The Neighborhood Coalition has released an updated summary of the issues with Bend’s noise policies and practices. (To read the full statement, click here.)
The BNC steering committee discussed its suggested approach to dealing with noise in a meeting with City Councilor Bill Moseley. He was recently successful in getting a majority of councilors to agree to hold a work session to address how the current noise ordinance is implemented. The focus will be on “living within limits” — that is, limiting noise variances and temporary occupancy permits that have enabled event organizers to hold large concerts and competitions adjacent to residential areas.
BNC supports this short-term effort to direct the city manager to implement current policies in a more restrained and balanced manner. We have listed eight areas in which permissive interpretations, poor enforcement, and a lack of discretion in issuing variances have caused continuing conflicts.
Next year, we want to see the Council adopt minor changes to the noise ordinance that bring it into line with practices in other cities. This includes reducing decibel limits and setting a limit for mixed use zones.
In 2019, the Council should consider new policies that strengthen city code by moving from a complaint-driven approach to noise to a prevention-oriented one (like the Austin model) and by addressing the need for regulation of outdoor event centers.