This one is built with neighborly vs Un-neighborly examples. See Alternate Version, based on positive what-to-do phrases.

Neighborhood Ethos

Our neighborhood should be a refuge (haven?), a place where we feel comfortable and safe at all hours. Whether homeowners or renters, we are neighbors living in close proximity and we share certain rights and responsibilities with respect to one another. The way we live together in our neighborhood is dictated in small part by city and county ordinances, and in large part by common sense and courtesy. Families with children, senior citizens, and college students may seem to have different expectations and standards for behavior, but they need not be in conflict. Agreeing on a basic set of guidelines can be a good start toward creating and preserving harmony in our diverse neighborhood.

Similarly we are neighbors with urban wildlife, including the fish that swim through our city. Being fully aware of their needs and our impact can help us choose more nature-friendly lifestyles.

Noise and Soundscape
NeighborlyUn-neighborly Resources, Recourses, Notes
Outdoor activities are quieted beetween 10pm to 7am. Party or construction noise extends beyond 10 pm. Chainsaws at 7 AM. Title 14: Public Peace, Safety, and Morals defines Quiet Time as 10pm to 7am. Families with young children would appreciate earlier hours on weekday nights during the school year.
Everyday sounds are within reason and within hours. Non-stop chainsawing, blaring music, leaf blowing day after day, ... Power tools, chainsaws, leaf blowers, stereos, musical instruments and auto horns have the potential for sound abuse. Quietly call the City of Portland Noise Office, 503-823-7350.
Noise from cars and pickups is minimal. A frequent guest honks on his arrival, revs his engine, and squeals his tires or throws gravel on take off. ?
Late night parties are kept quiet and indoors. Raucous parties spilling into street. Outdoor parties are OK, but once Quiet Time begins, parties should move indoors, off porches and decks. Mostly quiet with outbursts of shouting or laughter outside doesn't qualify as quiet. Nighttime shouting and laughing can be as annoying as loud music.
Stereo system sound kept reasonable. Neighbor's Bass notes audible in your house. City of Portland Noise Office, 503-823-7350.
Fireworks during 4th of July period. Fireworks year round or late at night. Fireworks are are legal a few days before July 4th, through two weeks after. Illegal fireworks late at night are not only illegal, they violate the basic Quiet Time rule, and constitute a fire threat to the neighborhood during the summer. Ref: City of Portland Noise Office, 503-823-7350.
Air Quality
NeighborlyUn-neighborly Resources, Recourses, Notes
Fireplace smoke is carefully controlled. Smokers are aware of their smoke. Cigarette and fireplace smoke drifting into open windows across property lines. No laws regulate this? Please be considerate, especially in the summer.
Yard debris is recycled promptly. Backyard burning. Backyard burning was banned in the urban area in the 1980's. Yard debris is picked up at the curb every other week. Larger amounts must be chipped, composted, or disposed of via Green drop box.
NeighborlyUn-neighborly Resources, Recourses, Notes
The city has extensive code (Title 29.20) dealing with Property Nuisances, including child traps, rat harborage, emergency access routes, trash and debris, disabled vehicles, and so on. The Neighborhood Inspection Center administers Title 29.
Morning Glory and Blackberries kept under control. Weeds and vines allowed to invade neighboring yards. Noxious weeds and vegetation are considered a nuisance. City Code 29.20.010, Outdoor Maintenance Requirements, applies.
Tree limbs cut up and used on site or recycled. Tree limits dragged to open space and left. (No code reference yet).
Clippings composted or recycled curbside. Clippings dumped on cemetery or vacant property. (No code reference yet).
Litter is recycled or put in garbage. Recycling bins and garbage can picked up from curb promptly. Litter and junk left lying about. Garbage can and bins left at curb for days. Don't litter the neighborhood or your yard. Ordinance?
Standing water is controlled. Tires and open containers kept ncovered on property Used tires and other containers left in the rain create long-lasting breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Make sure roof gutters drain properly. Cover rainwater barrels with mesh or screen. West Nile virus has made standing water a deadly negligence. can bred in only 1/4 inch of water.
google: 'standing water mosquitoes tires' -- 21,000 hits.
All vehicles are used or stored properly. Disabled vehicles kept on property or street. The disabled vehicle ordinance that may apply to cars parked semi-permanently on the street or private property. We assume vehicles in our neighborhood are not abandond.
Outdoor lighting illuminates owners property. Yard lights allowed to shine into neighboring windows. See the International Dark Sky Association website [IDA] for Good Neighbor Outdoor Lighting guidelines. Lighting of neighbors property should be by consent. City and Businesses are guilty of offensive lighting. Links: [Outdoor Lighting Basics] and [My Neighbor's Lighting].
Chemicals are disposed of properly. Motor oil, paint, or other chemicals are dumped on ground. Antifreeze is left out in open pans where animals may ingest. (no code reference yet). Strict laws apply.
Concrete rubble is used on site or disposed of properly. Rubble is dumped roadside, in ravines, and on vacant lots. (No code reference yet).
Only Safe garden chemicals are used. Harsh chemicals improperly or indiscriminately sprayed. (No code reference yet).
NeighborlyUn-neighborly Resources, Recourses, Notes
Driveways and easements are kept passable. Visitors are allowed to park in a easment, blocking access. Some of us share a common easement that must be kept clear BY LAW. The back lot must not be made inaccessible to vehicles. There is no parking on an easement.
Safety & Civility
NeighborlyUn-neighborly Resources, Recourses, Notes
Everyone drives carefully when coming and going. Wreckless Driving. Other cars, bikes, pedestrians share the streets and may use the same driveways.
Participation in Neighborhood Watch Group Living outside law and community, selling drugs, underage drinking, prowling. Our Watch Group looks out for one another's property, mail, pets, plants. The Watch Group captain keeps a list of occupants, phone numbers, vehicles, and landlords.
Helping to clean up neighborhood Caring nothing about appearance of neighborhood If you walk or bike in Greenwood Hills Cemetery, please consider supporting the maintenance association through a donation or by joining the spring or fall cleanup parties.
NeighborlyUn-neighborly Resources, Recourses, Notes
Dogs allowed to bark only for breif period following disturbance. Dogs allowed to bark excessiverly, or left unattended. Dogs will bark, but should not be barking for long periods of time, day or night.
Dogs kept on leash. Dogs allowed to roam free. Cemeteries are not city parks or off-leash areas. Dogs may be off-leash in the Greenwood Hills Cemetery, but should be kept under control. Riverview Cemetery prohibits dogs altogether.
Owners pick up after dogs on neighborhood walks. Dog poop left on community or private property Pooper Scooper law. In the neighborhood and in your yard. No one wants to see it or step on it.
Cats are spayed or neutered at appropraite age. Tomcats allowed to roam. Feral cats fed. Outdoor cats should be sex neutral. They'll get along better with other outdoor critters if they are neutered or spayed.
Cats are confined to enclosed areas. Cats are allowed to stray into unwelcome areas. It is possible to fence an area and provide an outdoor shelter for family cats.
Discourage Vermin? Enourage Vermin? Pet food left out may attract raccoons or rats. (Cats left out may be caught by local coyotes. Raccoons may tear up foam items left in your yard, fish in your pond, etc.)


Resolve disputes. Minor problems between neighbors can be worked out one-on-one. If the problem involves a renter, the landlord may be contacted.

Use a mediator. Mediation is available for problems that can't be resolved between landlords, tenants, and home owners. The Neighborhood Mediation Program is available via 503-595-4890.

Call the police. If partyers or visitors are rowdy, neighbors may not give any warning before calling the Portland Police. Landlords prefer that neighbors call police rather than call them in such cases. The Portland Police NON-EMERGENCY phone number is 503-823-3333. Don't call 9-1-1 unless there is a fire, medical, or other emergency.


Neighborhood Law: FENCES, TREES, BOUNDARIES & NOISE; by Attorney Cora Jordan; Nolo Press Self-Help Law.

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© 2003, JoHN MiLLeR, Portland, Oregon. 12/2/2003, 8/24/2014, 6/18/2018.
Please notify me if you plan to adapt this to your neighborhood. I would like to track all derivative works.