What is Grading?

Grading is defined in the County Code as “Any mechanical excavating, clearing, filling, or combination thereof.  Grading Permits may be required for projects such as those listed below.  Refer to the County Code Section number noted for more information.

Driveway: Private access for vehicles located in a single parcel, excepting that “driveway” also included shared, reciprocal access along both sides of a common property boundary serving no more than two (2) adjoining parcels.  Also see County Code Section 30-10, Driveways and Roads.

Road:  Permanently reserved, public or private right-of-way which affords a principal means of vehicular access to abutting or adjacent property, not including alleys or driveways herein.  The service or frontage road of a freeway shall be considered as a street separate from such freeway or highway.  Also see County Code Section 30-10, Driveways and Roads.

Cut:  An excavation.  The difference between a point on the original ground level and a designated point of lower elevation on the final grade.  Also see County Code Section 30-12, Cuts and Fills.

Grading

Fill:  The deposit of earth or man-made material placed by artificial means.  Also see County Code Section 30-12, Cuts and Fills.

Dam:  An earthen, concrete, or stone wall to confine a flow of water, such as a stream, and raise its level.  Also see County Code Section 30-13, Dams and Reservoirs.  This will also require a Zoning or Use Permit and may be subject to the jurisdiction of the California Division of Safety of Dams.

Reservoir:  An “excavated pond” or an “embankment pond” usually for the purpose of storing water. Also see County Code Section 30-13, Dams and Reservoirs.  This will also require a Zoning or Use Permit.

Pond:  A still, freshwater body that is smaller than a lake and often manmade.  A pond can provide water for livestock, fish and wildlife, recreation, fire control, crop and orchard watering, and other related uses; or is used to maintain or improve water quality.  Also see County Code Section 30-13, Dams and Reservoirs.  This will also require a Zoning or Use Permit.

Firebreak:  Clearing of vegetation for the sole purpose of preventing the spread of fire and does not include roads or driveways.  Also see County Code Section 30-14, Clearing of Vegetation.

Rangeland Management:  Management of uncultivated grasslands, shrublands, or forested lands with an herbaceous and/or shrubby understory producing forage for grazing and browsing.  Rangeland may be native or seeded.  Also see County Code Section 30-14.2, Clearing of Vegetation – Rangeland Management.

Other Vegetation Clearing.  Also see County Code Section 30-14, Clearing of Vegetation.

Some Agricultural Grading Projects

Some Building Pads (with or without Building Permits)


Ready to determine if you need a Grading Permit?  Start with Step One.