• There are two types of grading permits:  preliminary and precise.
  • A preliminary grading permit is required for any of the following and where no construction is proposed on or above the ground surface: 
    • Alteration of natural drainage patterns,
    • Earthwork exceeding 50 cubic yards,
    • Removal of pavement exceeding 3,000 square feet,
    • Removal of underground storage tanks,
    • Stockpiles.

Typical preliminary grading permits include rough/mass grading projects, backbone storm drain construction, hardscape demolition, stockpiles, and underground tank removals.

  • A precise grading permit is required to establish any building pad (regardless of earthwork quantity, with exceptions outlined in Bulletin 253), or for any construction on or above ground which is subject to inspection for building code compliance.  Precise grading permits include tract or individual homes, multi-family and commercial developments, private streets, and parking lot or ADA upgrades and maintenance.  
  • For new development, zone conformance approval must precede the grading plan submittal. The Community Development staff will check the submittal for conformance with the requirements listed below and will assist in the completion of the application. 
  • For additional information on grading permits, consult the Irvine Grading Regulations or contact Bryan Choi at 949-724-6088 or Tom Polson at 949-724-6367.
  • After you have completed and gathered all of the required documents outlined in the following sections, you will need to submit your permit application and plans electronically through the IrvineReady! Online Permit Submittal portal.

The Process

Once the tentative map for a parcel or tract is approved and zoning cleared, a grading plan can be submitted; though, tentative map approval may not be required for certain preliminary grading permits. The applicant should allow 15 working days for the first plan check review and 10 working days for any subsequent submittals.  Plan check fees for preliminary and precise grading permits are based on acreage (area of disturbance), with the exception of hardscape demolition, stockpile, and tank removal permits (lump sum).  All plan check fees are due at submittal.  Inspection fees are also based on the permit area and are required prior to permit issuance, along with a grading bond, per the Grading Manual. 

Grading Plans

Grading plans shall be prepared in accordance with the Grading Code, Grading Manual, and the Zoning Ordinance, and shall be formatted with the City’s Grading Title Sheet, Erosion and Sediment Control Requirements table and certification, and Post Construction Structural Standard Notes (precise grading plans only).  Private streets, private storm drain systems, and any work within the public right-of-way shall be designed per the City of Irvine Design Manual.  Grading projects shall comply with the latest editions of the California Building Code and the Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction (Green Book), where applicable. 

Grading plans should include the project’s Conditions of Approval, approved Site Plan, Land Use/Development Standards, and must incorporate all design information/details for construction and inspection.  Utilities should be shown, either for reference or as a concurrent plumbing review, if specified on the Grading Permit Application.   

Grading Bonds

The developer shall be required to post a grading bond as outlined in the Grading Code. The amount of the bond will be determined at the time of second submittal. Sample bond forms are available here.  Other formats may be used only upon approval of the City Attorney.

What Documents Will Be Required?


As Attachments:          

  1. Electronic/Digital Signature Disclosure
  2. Grading Permit Application
  3. 100-Year/Finish Floor Letter (certification by the civil engineer)
  4. Tentative Tract Map/Parcel Map
  5. Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (Form Catalog)
  6. Red Imported Fire Ant Clearance
  7. Engineering Cost Estimate (Form Catalog)
  8. Site-specific soils report and written review of the most recent grading plan
  9. Developer Deposit Case Set Up (If applicable)
  10. FOR PROJECTS EXCEEDING ONE ACRE OF DISTURBANCE: Notice of Intent (from the Regional Water Quality Control Board)
  11. FOR HARDSCAPE DEMOLITION: Waste Management Plan
  12. FOR YARD PLUMBING PERMITS: Commercial Take-Off Sheet
  13. WHEN DISTURBING NATURAL LAND: Vector Control Letter. Contact Orange County Vector Control District at 714-971-2421

As Documents:

  1. Grading Plans
  2. Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) for all precise grading permits, unless specifically excepted by the City of Irvine
  3. Hydrology and Hydraulics calculations


  • Please review the file size, formatting, and upload requirements available through this link.  

Submittal Instructions

READY TO BEGIN? Your application must be submitted online using the IrvineReady! Online Permit Submittal Portal. We recommend keeping this webpage open in a different tab so you can refer to the information below.

IrvineReady! best on Google Chrome, rather than Safari or Microsoft Edge.

When you click the button below to go to IrvineReady, you will first be prompted to create an account, or to log into an existing account.

Video Link: How to Create an Account in GoPost

After creating an account and logging in, click the green plus button to the lower right-hand side of the window to start a new submittal.

In the “Project Type” drop-down menu, select “For Permitting--Other” as the permit type.

Video Link: Preparing Documents for Upload into GoPost


Next Steps

  • After submitting your plans, City staff will review the information for completeness within approximately two business days. If additional information is needed, you will be notified.
  • You will be emailed a link to pay required fees. Visit the Fee Schedule page for additional information and current fee rates
  • After payment is received, your project will be assigned for review.