Note: A public hearing before the Saint Paul City Council is required. Application and fee must be received no fewer than 60 days prior to the public hearing date that is nearest the variance start date. Variance start dates must be after the public hearing date. Public hearings are held Wednesdays at 3:30 PM, except the fifth Wednesday of any month and weeks that include certain major holidays.

If you are conducting any temporary or short term activity or operation that will create sound levels exceeding the sound level limits in Chapter 293.07, you may apply for a variance from the noise source limitations. Variances can be for activities such as any event with amplified sound (outdoor live or recorded music, announcements), the operation of construction equipment (pile driving, jack hammering, general construction activity), a wedding reception or graduation party, or any other operation that creates excessive noise. The city council has the authority to grant variances from the sound level restrictions contained in section 293.07.

Anyone seeking a variance must file an application, accompanied by the payment of a fee with the Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI). As part of the application process, the council will hold a public hearing. (Public hearings are held Wednesdays at 3:30 PM, except the fifth Wednesday of any month and weeks that include certain major holidays.) Property owners within 300 feet of the noise source must be notified and are given fifteen (15) days to file any written comments or objections. After the public hearing the council may by resolution grant, deny, modify or revoke the variance request. The variance may be granted subject to conditions, including restricting the hours of operation of the noise source, a time limit for duration of the variance, or attempts the applicant shall make to bring the noise source in to compliance. If you have questions, contact DSI at 651-266-8989, or email the DSI Message Center.

Code Requirements

See Chapter 293 of the Saint Paul Legislative Code for information about noise variances.

Application Requirements

You must submit the following:

Requires approval from DSI and city council.

The fee per Sound Level Variance Application is $178.00. Multiple locations may require more than one application.


A Sound Level Variance is valid only during the date(s) and times listed in the variance conditions. All variances are subject to council-approved conditions.

Last Edited: February 16, 2022