Apply for a Sound Permit

​In general, sound levels at an event cannot exceed 50 dBa at adjacent property lines without getting a sound permit from the City. [SRC Chapter 51]

Getting a permit does not mean noise complaints will not be filed and investigated. Using common sense and being considerate of your neighbors is the best way to avoid a problem. The most common reasons for complaints include:

  • Noise continues after 9:00 p.m.
  • Noise continues for a long period of time
  • Noise is unreasonably loud.

When you have an extended event, or one in the downtown area, you are required to notify surrounding properties in writing at your expense [SRC 51.040]. When you submit an application, you will get a map of the notification area. The recipients of the notification have 30 days to file written comments on the application. If your application is approved, you should keep a completed copy of the Sound Permit Notification checklist at the event to verify you have delivered the required notice.

Types of sound permits

Sound permits are divided into four classes based on the location and duration of the requested event.

Class A

  • Your event is located outside the Downtown Parking District.
  • Your event lasts less than 24 hours.
  • Submit your application at least 10 days before the event.
  • The permit fee is $32.50.

Class B

  • Your event is located outside the Downtown Parking District.
  • Your event lasts more than 24 hours.
  • Submit your application at least 45 days before the event.
  • The permit fee is $185 for public events.
  • You will be required to give notice to surrounding properties

Class C

  • Your event is located inside the Downtown Parking District.
  • Your event lasts less than 24 hours.
  • Submit your application at least 45 days before the event.
  • The permit fee is $65 for private events.   
  • The permit fee is $185 for public events.
  • You will be required to give notice to surrounding properties.

Class D

  • Your event is located inside the Downtown Parking District.
  • Your event lasts more than 24 hours.
  • Submit your application at least 45 days before the event.
  • The permit fee is $365.   
  • You will be required to give notice to surrounding properties

Application process

You can email your application form to Recreation Services.

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive a response from the Health Officer within the following timeframes:

  • Class A permits: Within seven days of receiving the completed application.
  • Class B, C, and D permits: Within 30 days of receiving the completed application. (An application is not complete until the notification comment period ends.)

If your permit application is denied, you can appeal the decision to the Hearings Officer [SRC 20J.220].

Once your application is approved, you need to pay the appropriate permit fee.

Contact us

Recreation Services
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 325
Salem OR 97301
Phone: 
Sign up for mailing list: 
Recreation News