Grading Permits

Work Requiring a Grading Permit

When is a Grading Permit Required? (PDF)

The Engineering and Surveying Division issues Grading Permits and investigates grading and drainage complaints. Grading is subject to Placer County Code, Chapter 15 (PDF), "Grading, Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance," which addresses when a permit is required, and when grading is exempt from permit requirements.

The most common activities requiring a Grading Permit include the following:

  • Cuts or fills exceeding 4 feet in depth
  • Fill or excavation greater than 250 cubic yards
  • Grading within a floodplain
  • Grading within or adjacent to a drainage course or wetland
  • Soil or vegetation disturbances exceeding 10,000 square feet
  • Structural retaining walls exceeding 4 feet in total height, as measured from bottom of footing to the top of the wall and/or supporting a surcharge

Additional restrictions apply in the Tahoe Basin area and a Grading Permit would be required for these additional activities:

  • Fill exceeding 3 feet in depth
  • Fill or excavation greater than 3 cubic yards or disturbing greater than 200 square feet
  • Soil or vegetation disturbances exceeding 1,000 square feet

Be aware that grading and soil disturbance in the Tahoe Basin is prohibited from October 15 through May 1.

The preceding list is not exhaustive, so please refer to the full text of the ordinance language for further information. Also note that different ordinance requirements apply to grading activities east of Donner Summit.