Clearing and Grading Permits

Header Image
MD-COB-DS-Construction-major-33-Crossroads-Village.jpg

Before you start any project that includes clearing and grading, tree removal or tree cutting, installation of rockeries or landscape walls, or work in a protected area, you should check to see if you need a permit for your project. Many people are surprised to learn that the city requires a permit for such work. The purpose of the permit is to help protect water and earth resources, fish and wildlife habitat, and public health and safety from potential adverse impacts associated with clearing and grading activities.

We're aiming for 100% paperless permitting in 2019!

We offer 24/7 online permitting services at MyBuildingPermit.com. You can apply online, check permit status and request inspections. All building, fire, utilities, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, sign, right of way, wireless and clearing & grading permit applications must be submitted online at MyBuildingPermit.com. Paper applications and plans for these permit types are no longer accepted. Land use and shoreline permit applications will go online later this year.

Commercial and Multifamily Clearing & Grading Permits

Clearing & Grading

Email Link To This Clearing and Grading Permit

This permit is for commercial and multifamily projects and includes a Land Use Exemption, if required, and may or may not include SEPA. For clearing & grading that includes the following work: (GD)

  • Clearing & grading associated with a building permit.
  • Removal and installation of underground storage tanks.
  • Major changes to nonresidential landscaping, walls, or rockeries that don’t require a building permit; roadway and utility installations.
  • Removal of hazardous trees and other permitted clearing & grading activities in critical areas that require SEPA review.

Online Permitting Services

You must apply for this permit online through MyBuildingPermit. We will not accept paper applications or plans.

Learn more about our online permitting services.

Required Documents

Project Specific Plan Requirements

Submittal Information and Forms

Fees

Timelines

Inspections

Landscape & Vegetation

Email Link To This Landscape and Vegetation Permit

Includes Land Use Exemption if required and may or may not include SEPA. For clearing & grading that includes the following work: (GB)

  • Removal of vegetation or changes to landscaping associated with a nonresidential, multifamily residential, or other property developed under a Planned Unit Development.
  • Minor clearing & grading work.

Online Permitting Services

You must apply for this permit online through MyBuildingPermit. We will not accept paper applications or plans.

Learn more about our online permitting services.

Required Documents

Project Specific Plan Requirements

Submittal Information and Forms

Fees

Timelines

Inspections

Plat Infrastructure

Email Link To This Plat Infrastructure Permit

For clearing & grading associated with infrastructure construction on an approved preliminary plat, short plat, or PUD. Infrastructure includes roads and streets, water, sewer, storm drainage, dry utilities, and plat landscaping. (GE)

Online Permitting Services

You must apply for this permit online through MyBuildingPermit. We will not accept paper applications or plans.

Learn more about our online permitting services.

Required Documents

Project Specific Plan Requirements

Submittal Information and Forms

Fees

Timelines

Inspections

Residential Clearing & Grading Permits

Clearing & Grading in Critical Areas

  Email Link To This Clearing & Grading in Critical Areas Permit

May or may not include SEPA. For clearing & grading that includes the following work (GJ):

  • Activities conducted within a critical area or critical area buffer. Activities may include but are not limited to: Hazardous tree removal, Vegetation, Management Plan, Habitat Improvement Plan, noxious species removal, vegetation pruning, and stream and shoreline stabilization measures.
  • Removal of vegetation or landscape changes on property that contain RVA’s or NGPA’s that are not within a critical area or critical area buffer.

Online Permitting Services

Submittal Requirements

Submittal and Plan Information
 

Fees

Timelines

Inspections

Minor Clearing & Grading

Email Link To This Minor Clearing and Grading Permit

For clearing & grading on a single family property not combined with a building permit. (GA)

  • Landscape changes involving over 1,000 square feet of clearing and/or over 50 cubic yards of grading.
  • Construction of rockeries and modular block walls over 4 feet in height.
  • Removal of any significant tree 8 inches or greater in diameter in the R-1 zoning district in the Bridle Trails area.
  • Includes removal of trees and other vegetation and grinding or removal of stumps (with total excavation and filling of 10 cubic yards or less).

Online Permitting Services

You must apply for this permit online through MyBuildingPermit. We will not accept paper applications or plans.

Learn more about our online permitting services.

Required Documents

Project Specific Plan Requirements

Submittal Information and Forms

Fees

Timelines

Inspections

Clearing & Grading Topics

  • Clearing & Grading

    If your project involves removal or destruction of over 1,000 square feet of vegetation and/or movement of more than 50 cubic yards of earth material, a clearing & grading permit is required. Removal or destruction of vegetation means clearing the ground so that the underlying soil is exposed, or killing vegetation in place, as with chemicals. Mowing grass and pruning plants are not considered clearing. Earth materials include soil, sand, gravel, rock asphalt, and concrete.

  • Removing Trees

    Tree Removal that results in over 1,000 square feet of disturbance of the ground requires a clearing & grading permit. Disturbance of the ground results from any action that displaces or destroys vegetation resulting in increased exposure of the underlying soils. This can include exposure of the existing ground due to removal of tree canopy where no other vegetation is growing under the tree. Disturbance can also result from the physical process of tree removal, where foot and vehicle traffic, construction of access roads, felling of trees, dragging of felled trees, and excavation of stumps disturb the ground. For most single-family lots with a house, disturbance from tree removal would be minimal and can be estimated at 50 square feet of disturbance for each living evergreen or deciduous tree, eight inches or greater in diameter measured four feet above existing grade. For larger and/or less developed areas, estimates of disturbance must be made on the anticipated amount of disturbance due to equipment access, tree felling, and dragging or skidding of trees. On lots zoned R-1 in the Bridle Trails Subarea, a clearing and grading permit is required for removal of any significant tree.

  • Rockeries and Landscape Walls

    Construction of rockeries or landscape walls composed of small pre-cast blocks requires a permit if they are over 48 inches in height (measured from the bottom of the base rock or block to the top of the wall). These walls are also considered structures if they are over 30 inches in height, at which point they cannot be constructed in any required structure setback. Walls over four feet must be designed in accordance with accepted engineering practices.

  • Protected Areas

    Clearing or grading of any type is generally not permitted in Protected Areas. Protected Areas include steep slopes, streams, and wetlands and all of their associated setbacks. Remember that even private properties can contain Protected Areas.

Contact

Permit Processing
for Permit and Fee Information

Telephone
Business Hours
8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays