Grading Permit

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A Grading Permit is required if you are moving more than 50 cubic yards of soil on your property. Grading is calculated as the amount of cut PLUS the amount of fill. The intent of this review is to ensure that grading minimizes impacts to drainage, erosion, and the natural features of the site, such as creeks, trees, swales, etc. The final grades should be visually compatible with the surrounding land. Grading must substantially comply with the Residential Design Review Guidelines.

Is my project subject to a Grading Permit?

The list below is a brief summary. Please refer to the Grading Ordinance for a complete list. 

A Grading Permit is required for:

  1. Movement of more than 50 cubic yards of earth.
A Grading Permit is not required for minor grading that involves:
  1. Movement of less than 50 cubic yards, which does not alter a drainage course or have an adverse impact on unique natural features or vegetation.
  2. Excavation below finished grade for basements and footing of structures or trench excavations for underground utilities, if backfilled to natural grade.
  3. Emergency work, necessary to protect life, limb or property, or to maintain the safety, use or stability of a public way or drainage way.
  4. Excavation for underground storage tank where the capacity of the tank does not exceed 20,000 gallons.
  5. Temporary stockpile of top-soil material required for landscaping loss being graded in the immediate area for building purposes if the stockpile is not placed within a public right-of-way, does not obstruct a drainage way, is not subject to erosion which will cause silting problems in a drainage way, does not endanger another property, and does not create a public nuisance or safety hazard, as determined by the building official. The land shall be graded to comply with this division after removal of the stockpile.
  6. Fire trail, or access road to a public utility gas and electric transmission line.

A Grading Permit application must be submitted to the Planning & Building Department for review. The Zoning Administrator is the hearing body for grading less than cubic yards. The Design Review Commission is the hearing body for grading 200 cubic yards or more.  A Grading Permit will only be approved if it meets the required findings.

Check the Project Checklist to determine if your project is subject to other triggers for review.