Discretionary Grading


Discretionary Grading Triggers

The following items are potential Discretionary Grading Permit Triggers and should be considered when submitting for a grading permit:

  1. Where the average natural slope within the area to be graded exceeds 10% and the amount of excavation or fill exceeds 10,000 cubic yards;
  2. Where the average natural slope within the area to be graded exceeds 35% and the amount of excavation of fill exceeds 1,000 cubic yards;
  3. Where the proposed graded slopes exceed 40 feet in vertical height;
  4. Where the proposed grading is within a designated waterway or designated wetland.
  5. Where the proposed grading is within an area officially designated by the County as a Sensitive Ecological, Archaeological, Scenic, or Biologically Sensitive Area; or
  6. Where the total truck roundtrips per calendar day for the grading operation exceeds 10 roundtrips or the cumulative total number of truck trips exceeds 50 truck trips per calendar week. The Building Official, as a ministerial act, may allow more than 10 truck roundtrips per day provided the truck traffic is scheduled to minimize impacts to the public or private streets.

In each of the six cases listed above, the issuance or denial of a grading permit is discretionary for the purposes of Section 21080, subdivision (a), of the Public Resources Code except in the following three cases in which such issuance or denial is a ministerial act:

Where the grading permit is required by a condition imposed upon a discretionary entitlement previously approved by the County of Ventura and the effects of the grading for which the grading permit is required were addressed in an environmental document prepared and certified with respect to that previously approved entitlement;

The grading is related to oilfield operations, involving exploration, development or production of oil, and all of the following conditions are satisfied;
(a) The grading will be restricted to an area on which such oilfield operations may lawfully take place pursuant to an existing use permit for such operations issued by the County;

(b) the proposed graded slopes will be less than 40 feet in vertical height;

(c) before the grading commences, grading bonds are submitted to the Building Official guaranteeing all erosion control facilities, slope planting and slope maintenance necessary to meet then existing County standards; and

(d) within 60 days of completion of the grading, all slopes created or modified are hydromulched with a native plant and an irrigation method sufficient to ensure establishment of such plants.

The grading is related to oilfield operations, involving the exploration, development or production of oil, and is limited to one or more of the following:
(a) routine maintenance or repair of existing drill sites or existing roads which does not materially alter the location, size or configuration of the original sites or roads;

(b) routine dredging of waste materials for which a permit has been issued by the Environmental Health Division of Ventura County Resource Management Agency;

(c) maintenance of existing oilfield facilities.