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What is grading?

Grading means any excavating or filling or any combination thereof.

When is a grading permit required?

grading permit is required for an excavation that is two feet or more in depth and/or creates a slope greater than five feet in height and steeper than 1 ½:1 horizontal to vertical.

A permit is also required for fills of two feet or more in depth and greater than 50 cubic yards or one-foot or more in depth placed on natural terrain 5:1 or steeper.

What qualifies for permit exemption?

Permit exemptions include excavations authorized by a valid building permit or improvement permit, cemetery graves, well excavations, and exploratory excavations performed under the direction of a soils engineer approved in writing by the City.

Temporary stockpile permit

temporary stockpile permit may be obtained from the City for the temporary storage of material on a site that does not have or is exempt from grading permit requirements.

Retaining Walls 

Retaining walls that are greater than 3’ in height and/or support a load (including a sloped backfill) require a permit. Retaining walls that require earthwork greater than 50 cubic yards require a wall permit from the engineering division. All other retaining walls require a building permit.

Project entitlement requirements

With the exception of grading for a single family home, most projects require an approved project entitlement prior to submittal and processing of a grading permit. Please contact the Planning Division to determine whether or not your project requires an entitlement approval.

Applications, Documents and Design Standards - Grading