A grading permit is documentation required by a municipality that allows the moving of earth that would be required for the construction of a new building, paved areas, and associated utilities.
Grading permits are usually required for smaller construction activities such as those involved with the construction of a single residential building. Larger construction activities such as the development of many lots of a proposed land subdivision would probably require a full development plan which would involve more time, more detailed plan requirements, and extra fees.
Grading permits also would not usually require having to present the associated grading plan to a planning commission or board of supervisors of the reviewing municipality as a part of the review process as could be required for a land development project.
How to Obtain a Grading Permit
The following are the main steps involved for obtaining a grading permit.
1) Research municipality ordinance requirements.
2) Prepare the site plan.
3) Submit the site plans along with the grading permit application and any associated fees to the municipality for review.
4) Address any review comments.
5) Obtain your grading permit.
The Grading Permit Plan
The following are some of main parts of a grading permit plan.
1) Proposed layout.
2) Proposed grading shown through contours and spot elevations.
3) Stormwater management design.
4) Erosion and sediment control design.
5) Construction details.
Hire the Right Professional
Because a grading permit plan will most likely have many of the same requirements as a land development plan, it would be good idea to do some research and hire a civil engineer with some background in preparing plans in your particular municipality.
This person should already be familiar with the local requirements and be efficient at getting your plan approved and obtaining your grading permit so that you can start the construction of your project.
Related: Site Grading Design (A Guide for the Non-Professional)