Grading Plan Processing


Grading Permits

There are two types of grading permits:  Preliminary and Precise.  Preliminary grading permits allow for earthwork and storm drain construction only, while Precise grading permits are for building pad certification and any on-grade construction (paving, hardscape, etc.). A Preliminary grading permit is not needed for every project and Building permits can only be issued from a Precise grading permit.  In accordance with the City of Irvine’s Local Implementation Plan (LIP), a Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) is required for all priority Precise grading plan submittals, and may be required for Preliminary grading submittals.

Submittal Requirements

For your information, included is a flow chart of the grading permit process and the grading permit application. Supplemental information is also required in accordance with the Grading Manual (Article 5).    

The permit application, grading plans (six sets), engineering cost estimate , supplementary information, and plan check fees for the Preliminary and/or Precise grading permits are submitted to the City of Irvine, Permit Processing Counter, Community Development Department, Building and Safety Division (One Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, California, 92623-9575, (949) 923-6300).  Zoning conformance approval may be required prior to the submittal of grading plans; though, certain Preliminary grading permit can be issued without zoning conformance.  The Community Development staff will check the submittal for conformance with the requirements and will assist in the completion of the application.

The first plan check requires 15 working days; subsequent submittals require 10 working day.

Grading Plan Design

Grading plans shall be prepared in accordance with the Grading Manual (Article 5).  All grading and improvement projects, whether public or private, shall be designed in accordance with the City of Irvine Design Manual and Standard Plans (Public Works Department, Development Engineering Division), Grading Code, Grading Manual, Zoning Ordinance; the California Building Code, and the Standard Specification for Public Works Construction (Green Book), all latest editions.

Grading plans are required to be submitted on 30”x42” sheets.  The required Grading Title Sheet, including the latest grading notes and the Erosion Control Sheet are available for download (self-extracting ZIP files).

Grading Plan Title Sheets

Grading Permit Application/Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance Compliance

  1. Grading Permit Application

  2. Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance Compliance

  3. Plant Selection Table

Fees & Bonds

Grading plan check fees are based on acreage in accordance most recent City of Irvine Fee Schedule.  Fees will include Building & Safety review, Public Works/Engineer review, as needed, and Planning deposit (Entitlement).  Plan check fees are due at plan check submittal.

Grading bonds are required for all grading permits, in accordance with the Grading Manual.

Grading inspection and permit fees are based on the Fee Schedule and will be due at permit issuance. 


After a permit is issued, an applicant may request a revision to the approved grading plans, provided the work has not been completed or finalized by the City Inspector.  Revision fees are based on the current Fee Schedule and review time for revisions is 5 working days; though, minor revisions may be completed sooner. 

For more specific information on grading plan submittals, grading permits or grading plan revisions, please call (949) 724-6313.