The County of Marin Department of Public Works – Land Development Division issues grading permits in the unincorporated areas of Marin according to Marin County Code §23.08 Excavation, Grading and Filling. Grading means any excavation, stripping, cutting, filling, stockpiling, or any combination of these activities, which alters land or vegetation. Common examples of grading include, but are not limited to, construction of driveways, development or improvement of a roadway, new lot or parcel development, and restoration/stabilization of hillsides or watercourses. Grading permits are necessary to ensure public safety, preserve the natural beauty of the County’s land, watercourses, and shorelines and to reduce the risk of landslides, rockfalls, erosion and flooding.
Per MCC §23.08.025, a grading permit is required prior to commencing any grading or related work, including site clearing and soil disturbance, when any of the following conditions apply:
- Artificial movement of over two hundred fifty (250) cubic yards of earth, an amount equal to roughly 25 standard dump trucks full of earth;
- Artificial movement of earth which creates a roadway or access drive whose length exceeds two hundred fifty (250) feet or whose longitudinal slope exceeds twenty (20) percent;
- Artificial movement of earth leaving any cut bank over eight feet in vertical height, or any cut below a line sloping down at a grade of two horizontal to one vertical from the ground at any property line (refer to sketch below);
- Filling in the following manner:
- Artificial movement of earth leaving a fill earth bank over three feet in vertical height or filled earth over three feet deep (refer to sketch below);
- Artificial addition of earth over one foot in vertical height placed on terrain with a slope greater than five horizontal to one vertical (refer to sketch below);
- Artificial addition of earth above a line sloping up at a grade of two horizontal to one vertical from the ground at any property line (refer to sketch below);
- Movement of earth, within or along the banks of, any watercourse or within fifty feet from the top of any watercourse at locations within the ‘city-centered corridor’ or one hundred feet from the top of bank of any watercourse at locations within the ‘inland rural corridor’ as identified within the Marin countywide plan;
- Removal, plowing under, or burial of over ten thousand square feet of vegetation on slopes exceeding fifteen percent.