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January 21, 2015

Portland hotels seek remedy to bar noise

Two hotels in the center of Portland's Old Port have asked city officials to re-examine the noise ordinance in light of a stream of complaints about noise coming from nearby bars.

The Portland Press Herald reported that loud noise from bars is the chief complaint from guests staying at the Hyatt Place Portland and Portland Harbor Hotel. In response, the City Council, its Public Safety Committee and the police department plan to look at the noise ordinance, which currently allows 92 decibels, approximately equal to the noise made by a commercial jet taking off a mile away or heavy truck heard from 25 feet away.

Other cities like Boston have lower decibel limits. The city's limit is 50 decibels between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. and 70 during the rest of the day.

Steve Hewins, executive director of the Portland Downtown District, told the newspaper that the nonprofit group is "interested in maintaining a vibrant night life, but at the same time there's going to be a need to manage how much sound leaks from clubs and other places."

Doug Fuss, the owner of the nearby Bull Feeney's pub, said developers of the hotel could have considered using admittedly expensive building material to block the noise.

Hyatt Place manager Alen Saric told WGME-13, however, that it "doesn't matter what sort of construction or what sort of window you have, it will travel through that."

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