Bend music community applauds revised noise rules

Police must use decibel meters before ticketing businesses,

Bend city councilors lays down new noise rules

BEND, Ore. - Bend's music community is giving city councilors a standing ovation for a performance well done, revising a much-debated noise ordinance with provisions they feel will make the process more fair, should noise complaints arise.

"It was magical when Victor Chudowsky actually proposed that they (police) actually use a decibel meter," The Horned Hand owner Wesley Ladd said Thursday.

"(I'm) thrilled, honestly thrilled with city council," said local Vodoo Highway band member David Miller.

City councilors voted Wednesday night to make some changes to the city's controversial noise ordinance.

Police now are required to use decibel meters in order to issue noise violation tickets to businesses.
In another unanimous vote, they reduced first-time fines for violations from $750  to $250.

Miller said it's everything he could hope for at this point -- and says now the music community needs to step up.

"The responsibility now falls to us to play ball on our side," Miller said. "We need to take advantage of the permitting process,. We need to learn about it if we don't understand it."

The northwest side of Bend is notorious for the noise complaints,  but it looks like things could be settling down. Miller and other musicians told NewsChannel 21 that the Century Center is reversing course and plans to hold outdoor concerts this summer.

But despite the new noise rules, The Horned Hand will close its doors on Colorado Avenue, as Ladd told councilors Wednesday night.

"We spent almost two years on this to get to this point (with new noise rules), for last night, so obviously the stress was very high. But we also had to adapt and move on," Ladd said.

It won't have the brick-and-mortar facility, but the name will live on.

"The Horned Hand personality and booking and feel is going to move into a production company status, so we'll still be  bringing a lot of great music to town," Ladd explained.

With councilors and artists in better harmony, now everyone's just waiting to see how the summer music season will play out.

Another amendment to the noise ordinance permits an exception to the 10 p.m. noise curfew for Elks baseball games in instances where there are weather delays.

The Horned Hand will close its doors before the end of June.

City councilors say depending how how the summer concert season goes, they could reexamine the noise ordinance this fall.

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