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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
9423 posts
914 upvotes

Grading permit

Just curious how the grading permit works. For backyard interlocking stones job, I know most people would apply any permit. Even if there is anyone really does that, the inspector will probably check if the interlocking stones surface changes the direction of how water flows in the backyard.

However, if someone is building an addition in the backyard, the whole addition is going to block certain square footage of the backyard and the grading/water flows will definitely change (unless they build on evaluated deck/posts). Would that a chance that the city does not issue the grading permit ?
6 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1885 posts
1601 upvotes
GTA
For your first case, depending on where you are, you may need a landscaping construction permit or whatever your municipality happens to call it. You also might not need to do anything depending on how much you plan to alter grades. Again, its a very City/Town specific thing, so just call up your City/Town and ask what you need.

In terms of someone building an addition, they would usually require a building permit and then site grading would be looked after under that.

There are other things such as site alteration permits, but these things probably do not apply here.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
9423 posts
914 upvotes
If people go by the book, they probably need to apply a permit for evening building a shed. But I seriously doubt anyone apply a permit for their interlocking stone jobs. I notice there are many people who cover the entire backyard with interlocking stones and of course without any grading permit ....

Yes, for building an addition, a building permit is definitely required. I am just wondering if the city would say no due to the change of grading/blocking the water flow from the addition foundation.
SubjectivelyObjective wrote: For your first case, depending on where you are, you may need a landscaping construction permit or whatever your municipality happens to call it. You also might not need to do anything depending on how much you plan to alter grades. Again, its a very City/Town specific thing, so just call up your City/Town and ask what you need.

In terms of someone building an addition, they would usually require a building permit and then site grading would be looked after under that.

There are other things such as site alteration permits, but these things probably do not apply here.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1885 posts
1601 upvotes
GTA
rdx wrote: If people go by the book, they probably need to apply a permit for evening building a shed. But I seriously doubt anyone apply a permit for their interlocking stone jobs. I notice there are many people who cover the entire backyard with interlocking stones and of course without any grading permit ....

Yes, for building an addition, a building permit is definitely required. I am just wondering if the city would say no due to the change of grading/blocking the water flow from the addition foundation.
As long as a shed is under 10sq m in most places it does not need a permit. That said if you put the shed in a swale, you've violated a bylaw.

Most municipalities usually say something like "significantly alter grades" or at a certain amount of import/export of material. In most cases homeowners and contractors will not really bother with it. Usually municipalities are reliant on neighbours complaining to deal with these issues, and even in most of those cases they will say take it up in a civil case.

In terms of additions or new builds, generally for a single dwelling there is no City criteria for stormwater management other than just make sure you can convey the drainage properly (ie your house is protected) and don't adversely impact your neighbours. Then when you get into multi unit or non residential there are a large number of requirements that need to be met.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2167 posts
1977 upvotes
Ottawa
I asked about this in Ottawa. I was told by a City grading inspector who actually came to see our yard that, as long as we don't "significantly alter the grade" or change the grade "within 4ft of the property line", and follow best practices for drainage, we're OK. Generally, as long as we don't impact your neighbours, we're fine. There is no real permitting process.

We're also in a 65 year old neighborhood, so there is no documented grading plan for our lot.

Our lot is significantly lower than everyone around us, so we get ponding in the spring. We're re-grading next month, and we've told our neighbors, but there's no permit for us to pull.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
9423 posts
914 upvotes
Thanks both of you. I guess it depends on each city as well. I heard someone in Vaughan was even being asked to get arborist report for all plants on lot (front and backyard) for a sunroom project in the backyard.
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
2167 posts
1977 upvotes
Ottawa
Yes, it definitely depends on the municipality. It may also depend on the age of your lot.

The City of Ottawa actually has something in their bylaws about not altering the grade, but older lots don't actually have a documented grading plan, making it difficult to enforce.

All of the grading around us has certainly changed over the years. There used to be a swale at the back of these lots, draining stormwater to a storm sewer on a road a dozen houses away, but over the years people have regraded their lots and, in many cases, backfilled that swale. So those who haven't kept up with the Joneses are flooding.

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