Apply for a Grading Permit

Type 1 Permit

Step 1.A Type 1 Grading Permit is required for the following:

  • A residential development on a single lot, other than those defined as Type 2 or 3 grading permit.
  • Alteration of existing stabilized slope of 3:1 or greater, on a residential lot.
  • Addition of paved areas such as concrete or asphalt, in excess of 1000 square feet on a residential lot.
  • Import and stockpiling of 100 cubic yards or more of earthen materials on a residential lot.
  • Clearing vegetation from a residential lot, which encompasses an area of 1000 square feet or more.

The entire grading code is available in Chapters 22.10 and 27.9 of the Zoning Code

Other governing codes may apply if the lot is part of a Planned Area Development (PAD), Environmentally Sensitive Land or Hillside Development Zone

Step 2.Complete a Permit Application

Permit Application

Step 3.Plan requirements:

  • Some site conditions require an Arizona Registrant designed plans are required for the following:
    • Average cross slope of building pad region is 6% or greater
    • Average cross slope of parcel is 15% or greater
    • Parcel has sloped areas greater than 25% 
  • A flood plan use permit (FPUP) is required for grading or other improvements within a 100 year floodplain and associated erosion hazard setback (EHSB). Please contact the Stormwater Utility at 520-229-4818 for assistance with the FPUP
  • A right-of-way (ROW) permit is required for any construction related activity in the Town's right-of-way. Contact Engineering Operations at 520-229-4869 for assistance

Step 4.Provide the following information on the plans:

  • Add the Oro Valley General Notes onto the site/grading plan:
  • Label the plans: Grading/Site Plan
  • Show all lot lines for the entire parcel
  • Metes and bounds of the lot lines per recorded final plat or other recorded instrument
  • Topography, label existing and proposed at 1 or 2 foot intervals including under the proposed building
  • Ensure the proposed contour lines tie back into existing contour lines.
  • Adjacent existing roadways and indicate if the road is private or public
  • All existing recorded parcel restrictions and easements
  • Existing and proposed utilities
  • Benchmark of known elevation and location
  • Define the grading limits of all areas to be disturbed
  • Show the location of the Best Management Practice (BMP) interim erosion control devices to be in place during construction (silt fence, waddles, etc.).
  • Provide a typical detail of the BMP with installation information for the proposed device. All BMP's are to be placed within the limits of grading limit line. Indicate the locations of permanent erosion control devices (splash pads, riprap aprons, etc.) at the base of all down spouts, scuppers, etc. Include the location of construction access to the site
  • Show the locations of the toe and top of new slopes by using a slope indicator symbol
  • Show proposed finished grades, by use of spot elevations, at the following locations:
    • Periodic intervals along channel or swales inverts
    • Inlet or outlet invert elevations of pipes and area drains
    • Grade breaks; high points and low points
  • As needed to verify positive drainage.
  • A minimum of 0.5% slope is generally required for paved surfaces and a minimum of 1% for unpaved areas
  • Structures
    • Include all proposed structures to be built within the graded area
    • Indicate the finished floor elevation (FFE) and finished pad elevation (FPE) of any structure
    • Proposed finished spot grades at the building and patio slab corners
    • Finish floor elevation and Pad elevation
    • Show all utilities from the point of connection to proposed structures
    • Distance from the property lines to the new buildings
    • A minimum slope of 5% for a distance of 10' away from a foundation in generally required per the International Residential Building Codes (2018 IRC R401.3)
    • House connection sewer (HCS) are to meet the International Plumbing Code requirements.
    • Indicate size, minimum slope and location of HCS lines and cleanouts.
    • Provide the rim elevation of the nearest upstream manhole to verify whether a backwater valve will be required on the HCS line.
  •  Driveways:  
    • Proposed finished grades along the driveway to verify finished slopes
    • Indicate the proposed surface of the driveway, such as asphalt, concrete, brick or aggregate
  • Walls (find the entire wall permit submittal checklist by inputting "wall" into the website search box)
    • Show locations of proposed walls
    • Label elevation for the top of wall and the bottom along finished grade
    • Indicate the location of wall openings for surface drainage.
    • Include permanent erosion control devices to be used, at the discharge side, at those openings
    • Supporting structural calculations and details prepared by an Arizona Registrant is required for the following:
      • Retaining walls greater than 4' when measured from bottom of footing Retaining walls with site wall when the combined height is greater than 6' when measured from bottom of footing
      • Retaining walls with an applied surcharge load Site walls greater than 6' when measured from the top of the footing

Step 5.Notice to the applicant

  • It is the applicant/ owner’s responsibility to ensure all private rules and regulations of the subdivision are adhered to. Contact your HOA or property management to determine applicable requirements

Step 6.Prepare your project for electronic submittal by doing the following:

  • Plans may be designed as a stand-alone document for future construction or included as a grading plan in a set of building construction documents
  • All documents must be in PDF format
  • The security level in the PDF must allow the Town to apply stamps, markups and ultimately approvals on the document
  • Do not mix portrait and landscape pages in the same document. Rotate all pages the same direction

Email the entire submittal in PDF format to: permits@orovalleyaz.gov (if the file is larger than 10MB, submit as a link)

You will receive an email that your submittal has been received. If you do not receive an email response call 520-229-4800.

Step 7.Plan review is 10 business days for the first and second reviews

Step 8.Permit fees: $470

Step 9.Permit Issuance

Permits are issued electronically

  • The person responsible for the permit (applicant, contractor or homeowner), must print one full size set of:
    • Stamped approved construction plans
    • Inspection card (white paper is acceptable)
    • Supporting documents such as Calculations, Soils Reports, Special Inspector Reports, etc.
    • All of the above listed documents must be on the construction site in full size paper format and available for the building inspectors.
    • Failure to provide the approved paper documents on the job site for the inspector may result in a failure of inspections.

 

Type 2 Permit

Step 1.A Type 2 Grading Permit is required for the following:

  • New public or private street or roadway, a commercial, office or resort project, or any residential development consisting of more than two (2) platted lots. 
  • Mass grading, as defined herein, shall be permitted only for new residential subdivisions, with an average lot size of 10,000 square feet or less (R1-10, R1-7, SDH-6 zoning designations). 
  • Mass grading on lots between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet is allowable with an Exception pursuant to Section 27.9.G.1.

The entire grading code is available in Chapters 22.10 and 27.9 of the zoning code. 

Other governing codes may apply if the lot is part of a Planned Area Development (PAD), Environmentally Sensitive Land or Hillside Development zone. 

Step 2.Complete a Permit Application

Permit Application(PDF, 477KB)

Step 3.Plan Requirements:

  • Type II Grading Permits are reviewed concurrently with the final plat or development plan approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. 
  • Plans are required to be designed by an Arizona Registrant
  • A flood plan use permit (FPUP) is required for grading or other improvements within a 100 year floodplain and associated erosion hazard setback (EHSB). Please contact the Stormwater Utility at 520-229-4818 for assistance with the FPUP
  • A right-of-way (ROW) permit is required for any construction related activity in the Town's right-of-way. Contact Engineering Operations at 520-229-4869 for assistance

Step 4.Provide the following information on the plans:

List the following information on the plans:

  • Stabilization, erosion and drainage control measures
  • Estimated quantity of earth material, cubic yards, to be removed from site
  • List the off-site disposal location
  • A description of the dust control method to be used during grading and until re-vegetation or stabilization has been completed
  • Provide the estimated starting date and expected completion date

Include additional documentation of the project which may include:

  • Archeological Clearance Letter
  •  Soils report
  •  Pavement design report
  •  Final Hydrology Report 
  •  Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan & ADEQ NOI (EPA compliant)
  •  Approved Improvement Plans, including SWPPP sheets 

  Review the Type 2 standard grading conditions.

Step 5.Notice to the applicant

  • It is the applicant's/owner responsibility to ensure all private rules and regulations of the property are adhered to. Contact the HOA or property management to determine applicable requirements.

Step 6.Prepare your project for electronic submittal by doing the following:

  • All documents must be in PDF format.
  • The security level in the PDF must allow the Town to apply stamps, markups and ultimately approvals on the document.
  • Do not mix portrait and landscape pages in the same document. Rotate all pages the same direction.

Step 7.Email the entire submittal in PDF format to: permits@orovallayaz.gov (if the file is larger than 10MB, submit as a link)

 You will receive an email letting you know the submittal has been received. If you do not receive an email response call 520-229-4800.

Step 8.Plan review is 20 business days for the first and second reviews

Step 9.Permit fees: Amount to equal 1/2% of the site construction costs or $500, whichever is greater.

  • Submit contractor's bid information on letterhead or sealed estimates from the Civil Engineer

Step 10.Prior to issuance of the permit, the following documents must be submitted to the Town.

  • Construction/Restoration Bond Estimate
  • Water Bond Estimate
  • Landscape Bond Estimate 
  • Bond Estimates must be approved by Oro Valley Staff prior to bond submission
  • Construction/Restoration Bond
  • Water Bond, date received
  • Landscape Plan/Landscape Bond
  • Approved Public Water Plans (Oro Valley Water Utility)
  • Recorded Easements/Letters of Agreement
  • Executed Assurances
  • Floodplain Use Permit, if required for project

Define the grading limits in the field and have a limits of grading inspection done by the zoning inspector. 

Step 11.Permit Issuance

Type 2 grading permits as required in Section 22.10.A.1.c may not be issued by the Town until the Town Council has approved the final plat or development plan and the necessary assurances have been posted.

Permits are issued electronically

  • The person responsible for the permit (applicant, contractor or homeowner), must print one full size set of:
  • Stamped approved construction plans
  • Inspection card (white paper is acceptable)
  • Supporting documents such as Calculations, Soils Reports, Special Inspector Reports, Energy Reports, etc.
  • All of the above listed documents must be on the construction site in paper format and available for the building inspectors.
  • Failure to provide the approved paper documents on the job site for the inspector may result in a failure of inspections. 

 

 

Type 3 Permit

Step 1. A Type 3 Grading Permit is required for the following:

  • Stockpiling of earthen materials
  • Installation of utilities and other infrastructure for which a Type 2 grading permit is not required
  • Utility and other infrastructure installation confined to the Town of Oro Valley right-of-way and requiring a right-of-way permit will not be required to obtain a Type 3 grading permit. However, a grading plan pursuant to Section 27.9.E.3.a shall accompany the right-of-way permit application 

The Town may waive the requirements for the grading plan should staff determine that the scope of the grading activity does not warrant such a plan.

The entire grading code is available in Chapter 22.10 and 27.9 of the Oro Valley Zoning Code

Other governing codes may apply if the lot is part of a Planned Area Development (PAD), Environmentally Sensitive Land or Hillside Development zone. 

Complete a Building Permit Application

Permit Application(PDF, 477KB)

Step 2.Plan Requirements:

  • Plans are required to be designed by an Arizona Registrant

Step 3.Provide the following information:

  • Stabilization, erosion and drainage control measures
  • Estimated quantity of earth material, cubic yards, to be removed from site
  • List the off-site disposal location
  • A description of the dust control method to be used during grading and until re-vegetation or stabilization has been completed
  • Provide the estimated starting date and expected completion date

Include additional documentation of the project which may include:

  • Archeological Clearance Letter
  • Soils report
  • Pavement design report
  • Final Hydrology Report 
  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan & ADEQ NOI (EPA compliant)
  • Approved Improvement Plans, including SWPPP sheets 

 See the standard Type 3 Grading conditions

Step 4.Notice to the applicant

It is the applicant's/owner responsibility to ensure all private rules and regulations of the property are adhered to.  Contact the HOA or property management to determine applicable requirements.

Step 5.Prepare your project for electronic submittal by doing the following

  • All documents must be in PDF format.
  • The security level in the PDF must allow the Town to apply stamps, markups and ultimately approvals on the document.
  • Do not mix portrait and landscape pages in the same document. Rotate all pages the same direction.

Step 6.Email the entire submittal in PDF format to: permits@orovalleyaz.gov (if the file is larger than 10MB, submit as a link)

You will receive an email letting you know the submittal has been received. If you do not receive an email response call 520-229-4800.

Step 7.Plan review is 10 business days for the first and second reviews

Step 8.Payment of all permit fees - Amount to equal ½ % of site construction cost or $500, whichever is greater. 

  • Submit contractor’s bid information on letterhead or sealed estimates from the Civil Engineer. 

Step 9.Prior to issuance of the permit, the following documents must be submitted to the Town.

  • Construction/Restoration Bond Estimate
  • Water Bond Estimate
  • Landscape Bond Estimate 
  • Bond Estimates must be approved by Oro Valley Staff prior to bond submission
  • Construction/Restoration Bond
  • Water Bond, date received
  • Landscape Plan/Landscape Bond
  •  Approved Public Water Plans (Oro Valley Water Utility)
  • Recorded Easements/Letters of Agreement
  • Executed Assurances
  • Floodplain Use Permit, if required for project
  • Define the grading limits in the field and have a limits of grading inspection done by the zoning inspection. 
  • Payment of all permit fees - Amount to equal ½ % of site construction cost or $500, whichever is greater. 
  • Submit contractor’s bid information on letterhead or sealed estimates from the Civil Engineer. 

Permit Issuance

  • Permits are issued electronically
  • The person responsible for the permit (applicant, contractor or homeowner), must print one full size set of:
  • Stamped approved construction plans
  • Inspection card (white paper is acceptable)
  • Supporting documents such as Calculations, Soils Reports, Special Inspector Reports, Energy Reports, etc.
  • All of the above listed documents must be on the construction site in paper format and available for the building inspectors.
  • Failure to provide the approved paper documents on the job site for the inspector may result in a failure of inspections. 

 

 

Type 4 Permit

Step 1.A Type 4 grading permit is required:

  • To establish future building pads, utility installation and site improvements as needed for drainage and access prior to site plan or final plat approval.
  • Is only applicable to sites located in the economic expansion zone as defined in the Oro Valley Zoning Code Chapter 24.9

See the Zoning Code section 22.10.A.1.d for Type 4 grading permit standards

Other governing codes may apply if the lot is part of a Planned Area Development (PAD), Environmentally Sensitive Land or Hillside Development zone. 

Step 2.Complete a Building Permit Application

Permit Application(PDF, 129KB)

Step 3.Plan Requirements:

  • Plans are required to be designed by an Arizona Registrant

Notice to the applicant

It is the applicant's/owner responsibility to ensure all private rules and regulations of the property are adhered to.  Contact the HOA or property management to determine applicable requirements.

Step 4.Prepare your project for electronic submittal by doing the following

  • All documents must be in PDF format.
  • The security level in the PDF must allow the Town to apply stamps, markups and ultimately approvals on the document.
  • Do not mix portrait and landscape pages in the same document. Rotate all pages the same direction.

Email the entire submittal in PDF format to: permits@orovalleyaz.gov (if the file is larger than 10MB, submit as a link)

You will receive an email letting you know the submittal has been received. If you do not receive an email response call 520-229-4800.

Step 5.Plan review is 20 business days for the first and second reviews

Step 6.Payment of all permit fees

- Amount to equal ½ % of site construction cost or $500, whichever is greater. 

  • Submit contractor’s bid information on letterhead or sealed estimates from the Civil Engineer. 

Step 7.Prior to issuance of the permit, the following documents must be submitted to the Town.

  • Construction/Restoration Bond Estimate
  • Water Bond Estimate
  • Landscape Bond Estimate 
  • Bond Estimates must be approved by Oro Valley Staff prior to bond submission
  • Construction/Restoration Bond
  • Water Bond, date received
  • Landscape Plan/Landscape Bond
  • Approved Public Water Plans (Oro Valley Water Utility)
  • Recorded Easements/Letters of Agreement
  • Executed Assurances
  • Floodplain Use Permit, if required for project
  • Define the grading limits in the field and have a limits of grading inspection done by the zoning inspe. 
  • Submit contractor’s bid information on letterhead or sealed estimates from the Civil Engineer. 

Step 8.Permit Issuance

  • Permits are issued electronically
  • The person responsible for the permit (applicant, contractor or homeowner), must print one full size set of:
    • Stamped approved construction plans
    • Inspection card (white paper is acceptable)
    • Supporting documents such as Calculations, Soils Reports, Special Inspector Reports, Energy Reports, etc.
    • All of the above listed documents must be on the construction site in paper format and available for the building inspectors.
    • Failure to provide the approved paper documents on the job site for the inspector may result in a failure of inspections. 

 

 

 

Home Owner Guide

Guide to assist a homeowner with a Grading Permit (Type 1)

Complete a permit application  (PDF, 210KB)

Step 1.Gather information

  • You will need to create a site plan of your property. Using aerial photos and/or the subdivision final plat can be useful.  You may also choose to draw your own site plan or hire a professional architect or engineer
  • Pima County has a web site that is useful for finding the final plat and aerial photos of your lot. Go to PimaMaps which can be found at www.gis.pima.gov/Pima Maps.  Town staff can also assist you in finding these documents in PimaMaps.
  • Attached are examples(PDF, 2MB) of the type of information you can find that will help you create your site plan.

Step 2.Create your site plan

  • Your site plan will need to be drawn at a clear readable size. 
  • Make sure the entire lot is shown on the site plan.  Do not limit your site plan to only the area proposed to be disturbed.
  • Show all property lines along with the lengths of each of the lot lines which can be found on the final plat.
  • Show all existing site conditions such as easements, floodplain, structures, driveways, etc. 
  • Label your plan “Site/Grading Plan”
  • Provide a north arrow.
  • Show road(s) that are next to your property, label the name and if the road is private or public.
  • Show existing topography.  Topography is the slope of the land usually shown in the form of multiple continual lines.  PimaMaps also provides topography lines on properties.
  • Add a note stating the reason for the grading or clearing

Step 3.Show on the plans the proposed work

  • Identify the area that you plan to disturb. This will be the "grading limit" area.
  • Show or add the new driveway or building, etc., that will be built in the proposed new graded area.
  • Identify the area that you plan to disturb. This will be your grading limit area.
  • Provide a ‘key” to explain the circles, lines, abbreviations or acronyms you place on the plans.
  • The rainwater flow pattern entering and exiting the site must be maintained.
    • Water runoff will need to be managed during construction. 
    • This is usually done with silt fence or waddles.  These must be placed outside the grading limit line in order to capture sediment runoff during construction.
    • Show which method you will use.
  • Show and label the permanent erosion system that will remain on site.  Most often riprap (layer of hand-placed/dumped rock armoring), swales, splash pads or concrete structures are used.
  • Mark the change in topography (the level of dirt) that you plan to create.  In the attached example the house is labeled at a zero foot elevation and the proposed graded area is minus one foot lower than the house.
  • Indicate which plants will be removed.
  • Mark the plants that will remain in place.
  • Show the location of the new plants that will be installed. Include size and type.  Ensure plant selected is from the approved plant list of the Oro Valley Zoning Code Addendums C thru E.
  • Show how the new plants will receive water.  Irrigation systems and/or hand watered. 
  • Indicate how you will control dust on the newly disturbed dirt?  Decomposed Granite (DG) and Hydroseed are popular choices.  You may choose other methods that will control the dust of the newly disturbed dirt. The code reads  “Cleared or graded land shall not be left at any time without dust control nor shall be left uncovered for more than 60 days without temporary or permanent protective cover of the entire cleared or graded area”.
  • Add the Grading Notes for Type 1 permits to the plans

Step 4.Potential additional requirements

  • A Floodplain Use Permit is required when disturbance encroaches into a wash or floodplain area. The Stormwater Division will determine if a review and additional permits are needed.
  • A drainage report or analysis, by a registered Civil Engineer, is required when grading is in or near a regulatory floodplain, erosion setback area or when certain situations affect drainage.
  • An Arizona Registrant is required to design grading plans on lots where the following occurs:
    • Average cross-slopes of the parcel of 15% or greater
    • Areas on the parcel that contain slopes of 25% or greater.

Step 5.Walls

  • If you are adding new yard walls or retaining walls provide the following:
    •  Show and label the location of the walls
    •  Label the height and length of the proposed wall
    •  Engineering required for site walls over 6’ in height
    •  Engineering required for retaining walls if over 4’, measured from bottom of footing, or any wall height with applied surcharge loads (e.g. driveways, slopes, etc.)

 

Step 6.Prepare your project for electronic submittal by doing the following

  • All documents must be in PDF format.
  • The security level in the PDF must allow the Town to apply stamps, markups and ultimately approvals on the document.
  • Do not mix portrait and landscape pages in the same document. Rotate all pages the same direction.

Step 7.Plan Review

A complete submittal is usually reviewed by Town staff in 10 business days.  The plans will either be approved or denied.  You will be notified of the plan review results. Additional reviews will take an additional 10 business days to review.

You will need to call for inspections during phases of the project.  The inspections will ensure the work proceeding on the site is the work that was approved on the plans.

Notice:  It is the applicant/owner's responsibility to ensure all private rules and regulations of the development are met.  Contact the property home owner's association to determine if additional standards apply. 

Step 8.Email the entire submittal in PDF format to: permits@orovallayaz.gov (if the file is larger than 10MB, submit as a link)

You will receive an email letting you know the submittal has been received. If you do not receive an email response call 520-229-4800.

Step 9.Permit fees:  $470 fee

Step 10.Permit Issuance

Permits are issued electronically

  • The person responsible for the permit (applicant, contractor or homeowner), must print one full size set of:
    • Stamped approved construction plans
    • Inspection card (white paper is acceptable)
    • Supporting documents such as Calculations, Soils Reports, Special Inspector Reports, Energy Reports, etc.
    • All of the above listed documents must be on the construction site in paper format and available for the building inspectors.
    • Failure to provide the approved paper documents on the job site for the inspector may result in a failure of inspections.