The Grading Code Enforcement section of the Grading Inspection Division is
responsible for enforcing grading, land use and erosion control in the
unincorporated areas of Monterey County.
Code Enforcement section investigates all complaints of violations of the
grading and erosion control ordinances and employs abatement procedures to
correct code deficiencies. This section also initiates follow-up
enforcement when cases have been referred by other county divisions and
referring cases to the County Counsel for litigation action. Assessment
fees are collected from building owners that have code violations in order
to recover costs incurred by investigations.
following information is provided as a brief outline to grading violation
and abatement procedures. For more information on code enforcement, visit
Code Enforcement Division.
Seventy-five percent of grading violations are reported to us by the
public. Complaints of potential grading violations are accepted through
phone calls, walk in, fax or mail and should be directed to the Code
Enforcement Office Assistant (CEOA). The information from the complaint
will be used to open a Code Enforcement (CE) case.
Site Visit and Documentations
A grading inspector conducts a field investigation to determine if a
grading violation exists as reported. If a violation exists and the work
is in progress (E.g. Site grading over 100 cuyds, without a grading
permit), a STOP WORK NOTICE will be
posted on site. On the other hand, if the same work is completed without a
permit, a NOTICE OF VIOLATION will be
posted or mailed to the owner of the property.
Photographs of grading violation and a written field report will be made
for review and documentation.
Notice of Violation
A letter is prepared by the CEOA and sent certified and regular mail to
the property owner notifying them of the violation and giving them 30 days
to comply. The letter will indicate what is needed to clear the violation,
i.e. obtaining a grading permit or correcting an existing condition that
is creating accelerated erosion. A grading permit and other ancillary fees
will be doubled when required to clear violations, to include Land Use
Permits where grading has occurred on slopes over 30% or Coastal
Development Permit for grading on slopes over 25%.
If the property owner is able to comply within the 30 day period, no
enforcement recovery fees will be charged, however, higher permitting fees
will still be assessed. If the property owner cannot meet the initial
deadline, a compliance agreement can be instituted. The compliance
agreement sets a date that will allow additional time if needed to obtain
the necessary permits and correct the violation, not to exceed 6 months.
If there is no progress made towards clearing the violation after 30 days,
the CEOA will prepare and send a citation letter. This gives a notice to
the property owner they have 10 days to make arrangements to either
receive the citation or enter into a compliance agreement that sets a new
date for compliance, pay for enforcement costs, and apply for the proper
permits. Pendency (type of lien) will be recorded on the property for the
If there is still no positive action by the property owner, an infraction
citation will be issued. This requires them to appear in municipal court
and the case is presented before a judge. If they do not appear, a bench
warrant will be issued for their arrest. Fines for citations start at
$250, then $500 and $1000 thereafter for each additional citation if there
continues to be no positive action by the property owner.
Application for Grading Permit
Six sets of plans are required with all applications for grading permits.
Plans shall be drawn to scale and at a minimum include the following; site
location, name & address of owner, parcel number, all property lines,
contours of existing or pre-existing ground surface and proposed contours,
elevations or cross sections, location of any structures, calculations
showing cut and fill amounts, and estimated start and finish dates.
Additional requirements may be assessed based upon the scope of work.
information on grading plans, refer to the following sections:
Grading Plan Check
Grading Forms, Handouts and