Grading and Erosion Control

-Grading Ordinance
-Erosion Control Ordinance


The Grading/Erosion Control Division was established in 1979 to enforce provisions of the then newly adopted Grading and Erosion Control Ordinances (Chapter 16.08 through 16.12). These ordinances were adopted to safeguard the health, safety and public welfare and to minimize erosion, protect fish and wildlife and to otherwise protect the natural environment.

All Development Permits Will Be Reviewed:
Since 1979, Grading and Erosion Division staff have reviewed all development permits to ensure compliance with Ordinance provisions including but not limited to subdivisions building permits, County owned Flood Control projects and other development in flood plains to assure compliance with ordinances and for geologic, geo-technical, seismic zone, grading and erosion control issues.

Erosion-Related Plans:
Erosion control plans, storm water plans and watershed protection plans are three types of erosion related plans required for specific projects in the County of Monterey. Erosion control plans must indicate how sediment will be kept on site. Erosion control plans are required for building, grading and land clearing. Erosion permit application instructions can be obtained in the Salinas or Monterey Permits Centers.

Grading Permits:
In general, a grading permit is required when the total volume of cut or fill material is 100 cubic yards or more. One cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet, equivalent to a box measuring 3 feet on each side. A grading permit can also be required under other circumstances-e.g., when grading affects a drainage course or creates slope steeper than two to one or creates a cut slope higher than five feet.  In order obtain a grading permit the Grading Permit Application must be completed. Grading permit application instructions can be downloaded here.

The Grading/Erosion Control Section oversees the construction process to ensure that sedimentation in streams, creeks, waterways, and the Monterey Bay is properly controlled. No grading permit can be issued if a determination is made that grading will result in hazards by reason of flood, geological hazard, seismic hazard or unstable soils, or is liable to endanger any other property or result in the deposition of debris on any public way or property or drainage course, or otherwise create a nuisance. Grading/Erosion Control Inspectors and the Chief Building Official conduct the procedural review associated with issuance of grading permits.

Erosion Control measures are enforced to eliminate and prevent conditions of accelerated erosion that have lead to, or could lead to degradation of water quality, loss of fish habitat, damage to property, loss of topsoil or vegetation cover, disruption of water supply, and increased danger from flooding.