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Environmental & Resource Protection
How do I Apply for a Grading Permit?

Building permits which involve site grading for the development do not require a separate grading permit. In these cases review and approval of the grading plan will take place during building permit application routing process.

Grading projects not associated with a building permit application are called "stand-alone" grading permits, which undergo discretionary review by staff. "Stand-alone" grading permit applications can be filed at the Zoning Counter, located in the Planning Department on the 4th floor of the County Government Center at 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz.

Regardless of the level of review required for the grading permit, all requirements listed below still apply.

In order to apply for a "stand alone" grading permit, you will need the following:

  • Grading plans (generally five copies) that show in detail all grading work proposed.
  • A completed application form with the property owner's (or his/her authorized agent's) signature.
  • If grading is to take place on multiple parcels as part of the same project, a signed owner-agent agreement form must be submitted for each parcel authorizing the proposed work to be executed after permit issuance.