The Engineering Division reviews Grading and Drainage plans, issues Grading Permits and provides inspection services to ensure the grading complies with the approved grading plan.  Grading is addressed in the Lake Elsinore Municipal Code at Chapter 15.72, Grading Standards. and Chapter 16, Subdivisions.

The most common activities requiring a grading permit include the following:

  • Combined fill or cut greater than 50 cubic yards.
  • Altering drainage patterns by disturbing the soil.
  • Grading within a drainage course.
  • Grading within a FEMA designated flood zone.
  • Grading within the City designated "No Imported Fill" zone surrounding the Lake.  This area is bordered by Grand Avenue, Riverside Drive, Corydon Street / Mission Trail and Lakeshore Drive

A lot of information is available on this page to assist you through the process:


(Please note that design review approval may be required first, contact the Planning Division for more information.)

  • Submit completed Grading Plan Check Application with proposed grading plan, required supporting documents, and fee to the Engineering Division at the public counter.
  • Obtain approval of proposed grading plan from City.
  • Submit completed Grading Permit Application with required security and fee to Engineering Division at the public counter.

The following are provided to assist you in preparing your Grading Plancheck submittal to the City:

Please contact an Engineering Technician if you have any questions regarding grading requirements.


When do I need to obtain a Grading / Drainage Permit?
A Drainage Permit is required on a construction site when soil disturbance or structures to be constructed may impact existing drainage flow or at the direction of the City Engineer.

A Grading Permit is required on a construction site when the combined cut and fill exceeds 50 cubic yards and/or soil disturbance results in a significant impact to the existing drainage and/or site contours, at the direction of the City Engineer or as conditioned through the design review process.

How do I obtain a Grading or Drainage Permit?
A Grading or Drainage Permit can be issued after the City has approved the proposed plan and upon submittal of a completed Grading or Drainage Permit Application together with the required documents and fees.

How do I obtain City approval of my grading / drainage plans?
Review of plans for approval begins with submittal of a completed Grading Plan Check or Drainage Inspection Application together with the required documents and fees

Upon receipt of the complete submittal package, the following occurs:

  • Plans are assigned for plan check to a City consultant plan checker.  The plan checker has three weeks to complete the first review (21 days) and two weeks (14 days)  to complete each subsequent review.   Reviews are completed in the order received by the plan checker.
  • Plan checker sends completed reviews and associated corrections/comments directly to the engineer of work.
  • The engineer of work reviews corrections/comments and responds with a resubmittal directly back to the plan checker.
  • Plan checker completes review and technically approves the plans; approved plans are sent to the City.
  • City Planning Division reviews plans for compliance with design review and environmental requirements.
  • The City Engineer reviews plans for approval and permit issuance.
  • The engineer of work or applicant is notified of plan approval and to have copies run for construction purposes.
  • Applicant receives letter from City identifying requirements and providing documents necessary for permit issuance.
  • The applicant submits a completed Grading Permit Application  or Drainage Inspection Permit Application with the required documents and fees to the Engineering Division at the public counter.
  • Staff reviews permit application package and if complete, issues permit.  (Applicant is notified of any incomplete items and resubmits at a later date.)

How do I check the status of my plan check?

  1. Contact your engineer of work.  He/she is the first to receive comments/corrections from the plan checker.
  2. Contact an Engineering Technician.  Please have your plan check number, project street address, tract or parcel map number or assessor's parcel number available when you email, call or stop by the public counter.

What type of construction is NOT APPROVED through a Grading Permit?
Any work within the public right-of-way, swimming pools, retaining walls and structures.  Even if such related work is shown on Grading Plans, applicants must gain separate approval for such work.   An Encroachment Permit is required for work in the public right-of-way. 

Visit the Building Division web page or at the public counter for permits related to structures, including pools.

Haul Route Permit:  Hauling in excess of 2,500 cubic yards.  Any person, firm, association or corporation moving or causing to be moved more than 2,500 cubic yards of earth material per project from or to the site of a grading operation on any public roadway within the City of Lake Elsinore shall obtain a Haul Route Permit and be subject to the regulations found in Lake Elsinore Municipal Code 15.72.065

Hauling in excess of 5,000 cubic yards requiring the use of City roadways shall be approved by the City Council at a public meeting of the City Council prior to permit issuance. The following documents are provided to assist you in this process:

What are the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements?
NPDES requirements can vary depending upon the size and location of your project.  Please refer to the NPDES web page for more information.

How do I know if my property is in a flood zone?
You have two options:

What other processes are associated with or may be required for grading permit issuance?





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