Learn the definition of grading, the different types of grading, what type of approvals are required to grade, and the process of obtaining a grading permit.

Agricultural Grading

In order for agricultural grading to be exempt from a grading permit, please read the following steps to determine if the proposed grading qualifies, and how to apply.

An Agriculture Grading Form and Site Plan must be approved by the County prior to commencement of any grading activities, for verification that exemption criteria are met. 

Alternative Review Program

An applicant may elect to use the Alternative Review Program for certain agricultural grading. This process allows an applicant to obtain technical assistance, inspection, and sign-off by either the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) or the Resource Conservation District (RCD).  Please read on to learn more.

As-Building Grading Permit

The process for obtaining a grading permit for grading that was done without a permit ("as-built") is the same as the process for obtaining a normal minor grading permit or major grading permit. However, as-built grading permits may incur violation fees in addition to grading permit fees. If an as-built grading permit is issued, the area subject to the as-built grading permit must be excavated and soil removed and/or replaced, as directed by a licensed engineer. This allows the engineer to evaluate the grading and ensure that it meets all county requirements. Additionally, mitigation measures may have to be performed, if the as-built grading permit is also subject to a land use permit.

If an as-built grading permit cannot be issued, the property may need to be partially or completely restored to its original state.

Major Grading Permit

A grading permit is typically needed when a project will change the topography of a property through removing and/or depositing more than 50 cubic yards of soil. Major grading typically involve 5,000 cubic yards of earthwork, or more, or earthwork proposed on terrain with slopes that are 10 percent or greater at any point.

Grading is regulated because it can cause serious problems when not done properly. Staff in the Department of Planning & Building review applications to ensure that they comply with applicable codes and ordinances before issuing a grading permit.