A grading permit is required on all new developments prior to grading or dicing. A Developer may seek a grading permit for grading prior to the approval of the improvement plans. Development Services must approve the grading plan prior to issuing a permit.


A grading permit is necessary prior to performing most grading operations. Some activities that require a grading permit include: Excavation or “cut,” fill, clearing or grubbing, stockpiling.

Please Note

For developments one half acre or greater, a Notice of Intent (NOI) application will need to be filed with the state. For development one acre or greater, a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan must also be submitted.

RequirementsModesto Municipal Code (MMC) 5-10.301.

Process Overview


Determine Special Requirements

Certain projects will have special requirements and need specific actions before submitting building plans, e.g. along Dry Creek, the Tuolumne River or other sensitive areas.

Submit Civil/Grading Plans

Civil and Grading Plans are reviewed to assure that construction meets basic life safety requirements and City of Modesto standards. Depending upon the type of project, and the complexity of construction, our staff will examine your plans for conformance to these requirements.  
You may submit your plans and encroachment permit application on-line or to

What to include:
  • 1 copy of the Notice of Intent (NOI) from the State of California
  • 1 copy of the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan
  • 3 sets of complete civil engineering plans
  • Engineer estimates
Note: For specific requirements, please see the City of MMC 5-10.303 and MMC 5-10.304.

Pay Fees

Once your plans are approved, you will need to pay for any plan review costs, permits or other fees that may apply to your project. 

How much: Please visit our Fees page for current fees.

Get Permits

When your plans are approved and at the time of paying your fees, the Development Services Division will issue the required permits for your project.