Grading Permits

The purpose of regulating grading activities is to safeguard the health, safety, property and public welfare by regulating grading, excavation and earthwork construction activities in the unincorporated areas of Stanislaus County. Grading is regulated because it can cause serious problems when not done properly or become a public nuisance. Newly exposed soil subjected to the elements (i.e. rainstorms or windstorms) can erode easily, moving from areas where you want the soil to where you don't.

The Development Services division of Public Works reviews construction site plans and design calculations for grading permit issuance. Staff coordinates with constituents on issues that need to be resolved and communicates county standards and regulations to the clients and engineering company representatives.

Within the jurisdiction of grading review and permit issuance, the technician will encounter situations requiring site visits and conferences with constituents across a broad spectrum of issues and types of construction, from irrigation, drainages, flood protection, and water usage issues to un-permitted grading of land that results in public nuisance issues.

Building construction is regulated by the California Building Standards Commissions. The County is currently developing grading standards that is based on the requirements found in Appendix J (Grading) of the California Building Code (Title 24 Part 2, Volume 1 & 2) and Section 4.106 (Mandatory Measures for Residential and Section 5.106 (Non-residential Site Development) of the California Green Building Standards Code (California Code of Regulations Title 24, Part 11). These codes are revised approximately every three years and can be viewed online at

Grading activities in the County is reviewed in conformance to the planning regulations that are governed by the County’s General Plan, Specific Plans, Land Use Plan, Zoning Plan, Subdivision Map Act, and the Stanislaus County Code.