Neighbors, business at odds over outdoor music venue

Bend;'s Century Center at center of controversy

Neighbors and business at odds

BEND, Ore. - The back and forth dispute between the Century Center and some of its neighbors over the sounds from concerts is nothing new.

Some neighbors living nearby are unhappy with current city policy and want Bend to more closely mirror the policies of other cities such as Austin or Portland

Joshua Romero, community relations manager for the city of Bend, said Tuesday that neighbors have issued noise complaints around events at the Century Center.

"The most recent police report I saw, probably had five or six neighbors logged as noise complaints," he said.

This past spring, the city contracted with Community Solutions, a mediation company in Bend, to help solve the problem.

Since then, they've had five meetings involving all parties to try to figure out how to keep the music on and the neighbors happy.

Romero said the city wants to stay out of such negotiations as much as possible.  

"The role of the city is really to get the groups together, because it wasn't an issue we could solve internally," he said. "But we wanted to make sure the neighbors and the businesses were equipped to find an agreement that would work for both of them.".

Although the end goal is finding common ground and a solution, a petition posted on the Outside Games Facebook page calls for 10,000 signatures to keep outdoor concerts and events in Bend.

So far, the petition has more than 1,200 supporters,

But the Bend Neighborhood Coalition says it's not against music. Rather, it wants the city to focus on its livability as it grows.

As for people who favor the concerts, they say there are only four to five a year, and they all finish by 10 p.m.

And if the two sides can't come to an agreement, Romero said, "There's always the opportunity for both the neighbors and the businesses to petition City Council and to work with council to adjust the ordinance, to direct law enforcement, to enforce noise ordinances differently then they have historically."

Currently, the Century Center is considered to be in a commercial zone.

NewsChannel 21 reached out to the River West Neighborhood Association, the Bend Neighborhood Coalition, Community Solutions, Good Life Brewing, the Bend Radio Group and several neighbors. None were interested in going on camera to discuss the issue.

You can weigh in. Our new KTVZ.COM Poll asks, who do you usually side with in neighborhood concert disputes: the neighbors or the concert venue/promoters? Find it halfway down the right side of our home page.

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