Bend Council Hears Noisy Event Complaints

Councilors Revisit Special Event Code

POSTED: 2:09 AM PST December 8, 2011    UPDATED: 8:33 AM PST December 8, 2011 
BEND, Ore. -

Concerts are supposed to be loud, but it's when the events go well into the night, and especially outside, that things get to be too much and too noisy for many of the people living nearby.

"The hooting and hollering obviously intoxicated pouring into our neighborhood on foot," Russell Cook told city councilors Wednesday night.

But its not just the Century Center but area businesses, like 10 Barrel Brewery on NW Galveston Avenue, that pack in a crowd, complete with an outdoor fire pit and tables.

"I've lived here for 10 years. I have been a happy camper until the jackhammer started at 10barrel," Madeleine Simmons said.

The city has received so many noise complaints from neighbors of late that councilors held a work session discussion on the codes and possible process revisions for special event permits.

There are special events code elements up for possible change, including that the code is now limited to events on city property.

It's private property that residents want to be considered for more enforcement, and several addressed councilors during the visitors portion of the agenda.

"The amplified music over the summer was way out of line with the type of venue there," Cook said.

The Century Center hosts a lot of concerts, and is on commercial property, but the noise sometimes reaches beyond their property and into the surrounding neighborhood.

"I actually considered getting a hotel room because I couldn't sleep," Cook said.

Cook is a registered nurse and works 12 hour shifts, so sleep is very important for him and his patients.

While talks between Century Center, police and the residents have been under way, residents say there is still more work to be done.

Councilor Jodie Barram says she wants Bend to remain a business-friendly city and doesn't want to see too many restrictions placed on businesses hosting large events, but neighbors' concerns also need addressing

While the council agreed to make some process changes, there will be more meetings on code revisions and more discussion on the noise.

Among other issues discussed Wednesday night, the council also adopted a measure that helps clear the way for Deschutes County putting a measure on next May's ballot that would create permanent, stable funding for Deschutes County 9-1-1 services.

If voters approve the measure, officials say it will reduce the tax burden on county residents by more than $5 million over the first five years.