How to Obtain a Building Permit
Grading permits are required within the unincorporated area of the County of El Dorado to safeguard life, limb, health, property and public welfare; to avoid pollution of watercourses; and to ensure that the intended use of a graded site is consistent with the
General Plan, any Specific Plans, the
Storm Water Management Plan,
California Fire Safe Standards, and applicable
County of El Dorado ordinances including the
Zoning Ordinance and the California Building Code.
If the property is within the architecturally controlled area of
El Dorado Hills Community Service District or the
Cameron Park Community Services District approval of the plans from the district prior to permit issuance is a requirement. Failure to obtain approval may delay issuance of your grading permit. Check with your individual association for any restrictions that may affect your grading plan. Even though Building Services does not enforce these restrictions, you may be subject to a civil action.
Element & Erosion
Who can apply: A grading permit application can be submitted by the following entities:
Application requirements: Upon the determination that a grading permit is required, an application must be submitted to the Development Services Department Permit Center to begin County review. The application must include an
application form and submittal checklist, and grading plans that include the following components:
Grading plans: Grading plans submitted to the County in support of a permit application shall be prepared by qualified individuals as discussed in the “qualifications” section and shall include the following:
Erosion and sediment control plans: Erosion and sediment control plans shall comply with the adopted
County Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) and all of the following:
Grading Plan Preparers
In accordance with State Law, the preparers of site grading and drainage plans are required to meet certain licensing qualifications as outlined below.
Waiver of the requirement for engineer prepared plans:
The requirement that grading plans submitted for County review be prepared, signed and stamped by a Civil Engineer may be waived by the Director if all of the following conditions are met:
Typical Design Standards
Design Standards Summary
The design standards for grading are presented in detail in Volume III of the County Design and Improvement Standards Manual. Provided below in summary form are the key standards common to most grading projects.
(Excerpts from Volume III of the County Design and Improvement Standards Manual)
Excavation – cut slope standards:
Fill Construction Standards:
Codes & Exemptions
Applicability of permit requirement:
Pursuant to Section 15.14.130 of the County
Grading Ordinance, a grading permit is required for earth moving activities conducted on private property within the unincorporated area of El Dorado County in order to protect neighboring properties, public welfare and water quality of streams, rivers and lakes. In order for a permit to be granted, a proposed grading project must be consistent with the County
General Plan, any applicable Specific Plan, the County
Grading Ordinance, the County
Design and Improvement Standards Manual, and the
Building Code currently in force.
In accordance with Section 15.14.140 of the County Grading Ordinance, the following categories of grading projects are exempt from the requirement of obtaining a grading permit except where such grading would create a cut or fill that could potentially endanger any structure intended for human or animal occupancy, threaten the stability of any public road, or obstruct any watercourse or drainage conduit. Projects located in the Tahoe Basin are not eligible for the exemptions listed below pursuant to Section 15.14.150, "Tahoe Basin special restrictions”.
Exempt projects shall comply with all other requirements of this Chapter, CEQA, the County Storm Water Management Plan (SWMP) and all other relevant codes and ordinances.
When required by the Director, a project schedule shall be provided that includes, as a minimum, the dates of:
The Director may inspect any work done under the authority of a permit granted pursuant to the Grading Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance (
Chapter 15.14 of the County Code). No permittee shall be deemed to have complied with this Ordinance until a final inspection of the work has been completed by the County and the Director has determined in writing that the work has been completed in accordance with all requirements and conditions of the permit. The permittee shall provide adequate access to the site for inspection by the Director during the performance of all grading work and for a minimum period of one year after the final inspection of all improvements.
Rough Grade inspection must be completed before the foundation forms of the structure can be inspected. A rough grade inspection consists of the following:
Final Grade inspection must be done before obtaining occupancy of your structure. A final grade inspection consists of the following:
Violation and abatement inspections:
Pursuant to Section D.1 below, the Director may require site inspections to investigate an alleged violation of the Grading Erosion and Sediment Control Ordinance (Chapter 15.14 of the County Code), or inspections necessary to document the abatement of a verified violation of this Ordinance.
When required by the Director, periodic progress reports as required by the Director shall be provided under the direction of the Project Engineer that address the following:
Final technical reports:
Upon completion of grading work, the Director may require a final report(s) that addresses geotechnical, geologic, drainage or engineering issues and includes, but is not limited to the following:
Other inspections required by the grading plan or the California Building Code:
PLEASE NOTE: The Development Services Department DOES NOT ACCEPT ANY CREDIT CARD PURCHASES at this time. Personal or bank draft checks accepted as well as US currency.
Fee Schedule: The schedule of fees and costs shall be those established by duly adopted resolutions of the Board of Supervisors. For all fees relating to Building Services see
Resolution # 079-2016
Timing of payment: As part of the application, the applicant shall provide to the County either an initial deposit of funds or a fixed fee as authorized by the adopted County fee ordinance. Fees and deposits shall be provided to the Administrative Authority. The authorized methods of County cost recovery are described below:
Public agencies: The fee required of public agencies may be waived pursuant to the policy of the
County of El Dorado Board of Supervisors.
Public utilities: Public utilities may, at the option of the Director, make payment for the above charges as billed by the Director instead of by advance deposit as required above.
Tahoe Special Conditions
Conditions of Approval
The following provisions apply to projects located in the Tahoe Basin.