City Slaps Dirty Nightclub with Noise Fine

Bass levels were four times limit at 1 am

Old Town's Dirty Nightclub is getting a little too funky: The city of Portland issued the club a $300 fine yesterday after city noise control caught bass levels bumping to more than four times the allowed sound limit.

Dirty, located at 35 NW Third Ave., is inside the city's controversial Entertainment District, a six-block swath that's closed off weekend nights to vehicle traffic. Portland Police and city officials have been the district's biggest boosters, saying the closures have cut down on crime.

But residents and businesses aren't huge fans. Many have been hounding Mayor Charlie Hales for long-term solutions for the area, which plays home to people in drug and alcohol free housing, businesses and a struggling Chinatown. Meanwhile, the district has been drawing thousands from Portland's surrounding suburbs on weekend nights, who party until the wee hours at the clubs.

People living in transitional housing across the street from Dirty are suffering from the noise, says Martin Soloway, housing director for Central City Concern. "It's very hard on them," says Soloway. "It's easy to forget that 10 feet above your head there's people trying to sleep who have to get up in the morning. They tell me they have to put on headphones to try to sleep."

Portland Noise Control Officer Paul van Orden says clubs turn it down when they see city officials. Van Orden captured Dirty's violation at 1 am on July 21 while he was standing behind a tree—and just one week after he warned Dirty they were being too loud. He says the club closes its large doors to keep the noise down when it knows police or other monitors are nearby, and then opens them when the coast is clear.

"It's like a cat and mouse game," he says.

Messages left with Dirty Nightclub weren't immediately returned.