Major Grading Permit

What is the process?

Major Grading Permit Application

With the exception of properties in the Agriculture land use category, grading that disturbs an area of 1.0 acres or more generally requires a land use permit. Projects that disturb an area of more than 1.0 acres are required to enroll in California's Construction General Permit for Stormwater Discharges.

Complete Construction Permit Application.  

Email completed application to [email protected]  and include the following information in your email: 

  • Project Address 

  • APN 

  • Complete Project Description (Scope of Work) that includes floor areas for all new, remodeled, addition areas, grading quantities, length of retailing walls, etc. (link to our Permit Submittal page) 

  • Contact Name and Phone Number

  • Email Address that must be used consistently throughout the permit process

WAIT : After application is received by County Staff, applicant will receive an email with instructions to upload plans online and a permit number. (This could take 24-48 hours during business hours.) 

Upload Major Grading Plans

Wait until you have received an email from County Staff. Using instructions found in the email, upload the plans into the PermitSLO Portal using the proper naming conventions. See the Naming Convention Guide for either residential or commercial construction for assistance and see Attaching Documents to a Permit on how to attach the plans via PermitSLO. Email County Staff contact when you have uploaded the plans.

Please Note: All applicants need a PermitSLO account. If you do not have an account, you will need to register by selecting “My Account.” Contractors should begin by selecting “Guide for Contractors.” For more information, please use the Quick Reference Guide

  • Typically, the applicant needs to obtain and include the following documentation with the application:


  • Once all plans and supporting documentation has been uploaded, staff will route application to Planning for a zoning clearance and estimate the fees for the major grading permit.
  • The applicant will receive a confirmation email with the invoice number. 

Pay Invoice

Pay the invoice (1st installment) through our online payment system (PermitSLO). For help, PermitSLO Payment Guide

When payment is made, please send an email to your county staff contact. (Review will not start until payment is made and confirmed.) 


Please note for all Planning and Building applications, after 15 days of non-payment of invoice, the application will be voided and resubmittal will be required.

Meet with Staff

The applicant contacts Planning staff to verify the scope of the project and to determine if a major grading permit is required.

Plan Review

Staff from the Department of Planning & Building, Department of Public Works, and Cal Fire review the application in sequence. A plans examiner then reviews the plans for a final time to verify compliance with applicable codes and ordinances and to determine if any additional information is required.

Once the plans have been reviewed, you will receive an email that will include details of corrections, conditions, school fees, and remaining fees as applicable. 

  • Please review this information and resubmit the corrected plans and supporting documentation into the PermitSLO portal under your projects assigned permit number. 

  • Please remember to follow the naming convention for either residential or commercial construction that was sent to you at the start of the project as this will help us facilitate moving the project along. 

Major Grading Permit Issuance

Once all previous steps are completed, you will receive an email with the Permit Issuance Report.  

  • Please sign the appropriate areas and initial each page on the bottom left corner where indicated.  

  • Scan or take photos of each page and email them to the staff contact in a single file.  

Once all steps are completed, you will receive email notification that the approved plans are ready for download within the PermitSLO portal.

The applicant will need to print the plans and supporting documentation to have available onsite at time of inspections. Also, an inspection card and site ID card will be email to applicant / contractor. 

Who can use this service?

Anyone can apply for a grading permit; however, plans are typically prepared by a licensed architect or engineer.

Is there a charge for this service?

Please refer to the Department of Planning & Building Fee Schedule for application fees.

When and where is this service offered?

This service is available throughout the year during regular business hours except during scheduled holidays.

PermitSLO Portal


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