A Five-Minute Guide to Living in the Neighborhood

September 2007, John Miller, john@timehaven•us.
Permission granted to use!
Please notify me if you adapt this to your neighborhood.
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Noise and Soundscape

Observe Quiet Time. By city code, Quiet Time is 10pm to 7am. Families with young children especially need this quiet time on weekday nights during the school year.

Keep parties quiet. 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 doesn't qualify as quiet. Nighttime shouting and laughing can be as annoying as loud music. Intoxicated party goers have no clue how loud they are on the street when walking to cars or another party in the neighborhood.

Minimize noise from cars and pickups. A frequent guest honking on his arrival, revv-ing his engine, and squealing his tires on take off can be annoying.

Turn down your stereo. Your Bass should not be audible in our House.

Hold the fireworks. Fireworks 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.

Do what you have to do. Everyday sounds of power tools, chainsaws, leaf blowers, stereos, musical instruments, and auto horns may be necessary, within reason and within hours.

Air Quality

Mind or reduce your smoke. Cigarette and fireplace smoke can drift into open windows across property lines. No laws regulate this. Please be considerate, especially in the summer.


Dispose of Your Garbage legally. You are responsible for your garbage. Landlords must cover garbage service. Homeowners must pay for pickup or take to a facility. Visit Metro's web site www.metro-region.org, or call 503-234-3000 to find out who your hauler is. Fetch your empty garbage can and recycling bins back from the curb on pickup day.

Learn to Recycle, Portland style. Newspapers, scrap paper, glass, plastic bottles, metal, cardboard, motor oil and other things can be recycled at your curbside on garbage pick-up day. The RecycleAtHome.org website shows how to prepare the materials for recycling. Keep glass bottles and jars separate from everything else!

Dispose of chemicals properly. Don't dump motor oil, paint, or chemicals on ground. Don't leave antifreeze in open where animals may ingest. Car batteries must be disposed of properly. Flashlight batteries should not be put in trash. Learn to dispose of such things responsibly via the RecycleAtHome.org web site.


Keep driveways and easements passable. Some houses share an "easement" that must be kept clear. The back lot must be accessible to vehicles at all times. There is no parking on an easement. UN/loading OK.

Safety & Civility

Drive carefully when coming and going. Other cars, bikes, pedestrians share the streets and may use the same driveways.

Join the Neighborhood Watch Group. Watch Group look out for one another's property, pets, gardens, mail, newspapers. The Watch Group captain keeps a list of occupants, phone numbers, vehicles, and landlords.

Help clean up. 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.


Keep dogs from barking excessively. Dogs will bark, but should not be barking for long periods of time, day or night.

Keep dogs leashed. Cemeteries are not city parks, off-leash areas, or doggy toilets. Dogs must be on-leash in the Greenwood Hills Cemetery. Riverview Cemetery prohibits dogs altogether.

Clean up after your dog. Need we say more? "Pooper-Scooper" laws apply. Greenwood Hills Cemetery provides bags for dog owners. Tryon Creek State Park is no exception to the law. Trails there are used by runners and many children.

Discourage Vermin and Predators. Pet food left out may attract raccoons or rats. Unsecured garbage can be opened by raccoons. Cats left out may be caught by local coyotes.


If partyers or visitors are rowdy, for their own safety neighbors may not try to give any warning before calling the Portland Police. Landlords prefer that neighbors call police so these cases are on the record, and they then may have grounds for eviction.

The Portland Police NON-EMERGENCY phone number is 503-823-3333. 9-1-1 should be used only for fire, medical, or other emergencies.