Noise Violations

Noise concerns typically arise when individuals or businesses create excessive sound that disturbs the peace and quiet of their neighbors. This could include loud music, loud talking or shouting, construction activities, and noisy pets. Excessive noise can be disruptive to the activities of others and disputes can quickly escalate, creating strained relationships between neighbors.

That is why being mindful of noise levels is crucial for maintaining a harmonious living environment for everyone. Being respectful and keeping noise to a reasonable level are essential practices for being a considerate neighbor.

Noise violations

In Happy Valley, noise that occurs between the hours of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. should be limited. During these hours, noise that is frequent, repetitive, and can be heard at a heightened volume are considered unreasonable and could be cause for citation if it is not discontinued. Please note, during this timeframe specifically, noise levels are to be no more than 50 decibels (dBA) in measurement.

Between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., when there is more activity and bustling throughout the city, noise levels must still be within reason. As a result, noise levels during this timeframe are to be no more than 60 dBA in measurement.

Talk to your neighbor

Before filing a complaint, Community Service Officers would like to emphasize the importance of talking to your neighbors should there ever be a concern with the noise level of a fellow resident or business. Addressing the issue this way is often helpful to problem solving a dilemma that could be remedied right away. Sometimes, neighbors don’t realize their noise levels are disruptive to others and will immediately extinguish the noise once they understand the concern. Of course, Community Service Officers recognize that not all interactions result in mutual agreement, and there may be safety considerations that hinder one’s comfort in engaging with another resident. In these cases, Community Service Officers or Happy Valley Police may be able to offer assistance.

Making a noise complaint

Community Service Officers review noise complaints when a resident submits an online report or calls a member of the team at 503-783-3800. With CSO’s typically on duty during regular business hours each day, noise complaints reviewed by this team are generally limited to daytime events that occur between 8 a.m.-6 p.m. These might include noise related to barking dogs, loud construction equipment, or music. During the night and early morning hours, Happy Valley Police can best review complaints. Residents will want to utilize the non-emergency police line at 503-655-8211 to make a report in these instances.

How are decibels measured?

Community Service Officers currently use decibel readers to measure noise levels. When a complaint is made, a Community Service Officer will respond to the area and take a measurement, typically from the concerned resident’s sidewalk or driveway. If the measurement is above the threshold, a citation may be issued to the other resident. Happy Valley Police may or may not utilize a decibel reader. Deputies will assess the situation and can typically make a determination onsite.

It is important to note that the recipient of a noise violation citation will be summoned to Happy Valley’s Municipal Court and the matter will be discussed before the Judge. The person making the complaint must be present in court when the case is discussed, otherwise it will be dismissed.

Construction hours

Construction hours are Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Construction work and noise is NOT permitted outside of these timeframes. On Sundays, there are some additional restrictions as the following specific activities are not permitted at any time of day:

  • site clearing
  • earth moving
  • installation or construction of underground utilities
  • paving of streets and sidewalks
  • foundation framing and pouring
  • and structure framing

A dog’s bark here and there is perfectly fine, but incessant dog barking can be a serious problem. A dog that barks excessively could potentially be in violation of our Animal Regulation ordinance (6.04.030) which considers it a violation for any person to:

Permit any animal unreasonably to cause annoyance, alarm, or noise disturbance at any time of the day or night, by repeated barking, whining, screeching, howling, braying or other like sounds which may be heard beyond the boundary of the animal owner’s property.

The City of Happy Valley created a threshold of what is considered a nuisance based on national, state, and local guidelines.

Below are a few guidelines that help outline what is considered excessive barking depending on time of day:

Daytime – 10 minutes, at least three different days within a ten-day period.

Nighttime – More than five minutes during at least three different nights (dawn to dusk) within a ten-day period.

Anytime – More than a combined total of one hour in a twenty-four-hour period

Barking Resolution

Here are some suggestions you can do as the complainant:

  • Talk to your neighbor. They may not be aware of the extent of their dog(s) barking and how it affects others.
  • Be sure the dog barking can be heard from different locations on your property. For example, inside your home or outside in your backyard.
  • Document dates, times, and duration when the dog is actively barking.
  • Video record. Aim a camera at the dog that is barking to gather actual footage/proof.

Here are some suggestions you can do as the dog owner:

  • Try to determine when and why your dog barks excessively.
  • Provide distractions for your dog: toys, sound from the radio or tv etc.
  • Bring your dog indoors when you are not home.
  • Be responsive to quickly address the barking when you are home.
  • Provide daily exercise. A tired dog is a quiet dog.
  • Train your dog, either on your own or with the help of a professional.
  • Purchase a dog barking collar or a device that will notify you when your dog is barking.
  • Talk to your neighbors. They may be able to help you identify when and why your dog is barking so that you can more quickly address the issue.

Submitting a dog barking complaint:

You can submit a complaint about a barking dog by completing our Report a Concern form online.

When submitting a complaint, you must include the following information:

  • Documentation with the Date(s), time(s) and duration of when the dog is actively barking.
  • The dog owner or keeper’s address and your contact information.