Grading Permit

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Engineering Counter Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

When is a Grading Permit Required?
In general, a Grading Permit is required whenever you are excavating or filling earth that is more than 1 ft. deep and totals more than 25 cubic yards. See the Grading Exemption Form (PDF) for a detailed list of requirements that qualify your project for a Grading Release. Grading Permits are always required when building a New Single Family Residence (NSF).

What type of construction is NOT APPROVED through a Grading Permit?
Any work within the public right-of-way, swimming pools, and structures (including retaining walls). Even if such related work is shown on Grading Plans, applicants must gain separate approval for such work. See the Encroachment Permit Process for work proposed in the public right-of-way. Visit the Building Division at the public counter for permits related to structures, including pools.

How do I get a Grading Permit?
Please submit a completed Grading Permit Application included in the Grading Permit Handout (PDF), which also contains a detailed list of all other actions and documents required for initial submittal to the Engineering Division. As with all other permits issued by the Engineering Division, Authorization by the Planning Division is required before Engineering can accept any permit submittal as indicated on the permit application. The Planning Division is located adjacent to the Engineering Division at the Public Counter.

Related Fees and Deposits
A $98.00 non-refundable administrative filing fee is due upon application submittal. Also due upon 1st submittal will be plan check deposit fees that vary according to the Fee Schedule. Additional fees & deposits will be required at time of issuance for inspections, and are based upon the scope of work. Most of these fees reflect a simple time and materials charge for staff and/or consultant efforts on your project.


The applicant’s Engineer/Geologists will also need to adhere to all requirements contained in both the City of Dana Point Grading Manual (PDF) and the Grading Plan Check List in the Grading Permit Handout (PDF) and certify each step during design and construction. Each submittal required for permit issuance will be plan checked and returned within 10 business days.


What are the Water Quality Protection Requirements?
Water quality requirements can vary depending upon the size and location of your project. Please refer to the Grading Permit Handout (PDF) or view the Water Quality webpage for more information regarding water quality requirements and Low Impact Development (LID) requirements.


What other documents do I need besides what is included in the Grading Permit Handout?
You are responsible to create a Water Quality Protection Best Management Practice (BMP) Report based on the Priority Level assigned to your project. A Report Template is provided in your Grading Permit Handout (PDF).

The applicant takes the Report Template with basic BMPs already checked, and adds any addition BMPs that specifically apply to their project. Additional BMPs can be found at Print both the standard items originally checked in the Template, and additional items you decide are applicable to your project, and submit those items attached to the Report Template for 1st Submittal.


Click on the link to search City Codes.

Most of the permit processes are best handled at the Engineering Division Counter. However, you may contact Engineers by email at or by phone at (949) 248-3509.

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