Article 1    General

6.9.102 Title.

The title of this chapter is "Grading" and shall be known as The Grading Ordinance.

6.9.104 Purpose and Intent.

a.    The purpose of this chapter is to establish controls on the earthwork permitted by the City in the course of, or in conjunction with, construction. The controls are established for reasons of aesthetics, sound soil engineering practice, erosion control, water quality protection and environmental sensitivity.

b.    It is the intent of the City to limit grading operations and to ensure that the public health, safety and welfare are maintained.

c.    Nothing in this chapter voids the provisions of Chapter 70 of the Uniform Building Code as adopted by the City. In the case of a conflict between this chapter and the Uniform Building Code, the more restrictive document will prevail.

d.    The provisions of this chapter are not intended to prevent the use of any material or method of construction not specifically prescribed by the grading code provided any such alternate has been approved under this chapter. The City Engineer may approve any such alternate up to the time of the certification of the building pad if he/she finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the provisions of the grading code; and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in quality, strength, effectiveness and safety.

e.    It is not the intent of this chapter to preclude projects with previous tentative map or grading plan approvals from continuing with the projects as designed prior to adoption of this chapter. Grading plans submitted for review and approval before adoption of this chapter are not subject to the conditions of this chapter.

6.9.106 General Definitions.

In this chapter, the following definitions apply unless otherwise stated:

a.    "As graded" shall mean the surface conditions existing on completion of grading.

b.    "Bedrock" shall mean in-place solid rock.

c.    "Bench" shall mean a relatively level step excavated into earth material as part of a manufactured slope.

d.    "Berm" shall mean earth mounding placed in such a manner as to screen or visually separate one area from another. A berm typically refers to earth placed at the fine grade phase of a development which is landscaped at project completion.

e.    "Borrow" shall mean earth material acquired from an off-site location for use in grading on a site.

f.    "Certification" shall mean a written engineering or geological professional opinion concerning the progress and completion of the work in accordance with approved plans. It is not a guarantee of the design or future performance of the earthwork.

g.    "Chief Building Official (CBO)" shall mean the individual charged with the ultimate authority to enforce the Building Regulations described in Title 7 of this Municipal Code. The Chief Building Official has the authority to enforce this chapter from pad certification through project completion. Additionally, projects not requiring pad certification and projects requiring less than 5,000 cubic yards of earth to be moved may be administrated by the Chief Building Official.

h.    "Civil engineer" means a professional engineer in the branch of civil engineering holding a valid certificate of registration issued by the State of California.

i.    "Clearing and grubbing" shall mean and refer to the removal of items such as, but not limited to, debris, grasses, weeds, scrub brush, etc. from a site in preparation for grading of a site.

j.    "Compaction" shall mean the artificial densification of soil by various means.

k.    "Cut" shall mean the removal of existing earth material to achieve a specific engineered grade. See also "Excavation".

l.    "Drip line" shall mean a line extending around a tree directly underneath the outermost branches of the tree.

m.    "Earth material" shall mean any rock, natural soil or fill, and/or any combination thereof.

n.    "Engineering geologist" shall mean a professional geologist in the branch of engineering geology holding a valid certificate of registration as an engineering geologist in the State of California.

o.    "Engineering geology" is the application of geological data and principles to engineering problems dealing with naturally occurring rock and soil for the purpose of assuring that geological factors are recognized and adequately interpreted in engineering practice.

p.    "Erosion" shall mean the wearing away of the ground surface as a result of the movement of wind, water, and/or ice.

q.    "Erosion-control specialist" shall mean a professional civil engineer, landscape architect or other licensed professional person experienced in erosion-control work, retained by the developer in a professional or consultative capacity (not as a contractor performing construction work in the development), and responsible for analysis, plans, specifications, supervision and certifications regarding slope-control planting and related slope control work, other than grading, for a specific project.

r.    "Excavation" shall mean any earth, sand, gravel or similar material which is cut into, dug, quarried, removed, displaced, relocated or bulldozed by either manual or mechanical means and the conditions resulting therefrom.

s.    "Fill" shall mean a deposit of earth material placed by artificial means.

t.    "Grade" shall mean the vertical elevation of the ground surface.

1)    "Existing grade" shall mean the grade prior to the start of work encompassed by a specific plan or permit.

2)    "Finish grade" shall mean the final grade of the site which conforms to the approved plan at the completion of the fine grade operation.

3)    "Rough grade" shall mean the stage at which the grade conforms approximately to the approved plan. Building pads and street sub-grade are graded to within +/- one-tenth foot.

u.    "Grading" shall mean any excavating or filling, or combination thereof.

1)    "Limited grading" shall mean the movement of earth for small projects such as individual building foundations, driveways, local roadways, utility excavations, etc. Limited grading generally refers to the movement of less than 50 cubic yards of material.

2)    "Mass grading" shall mean the movement or redistribution of large quantities of earth over large areas. Disruption of the majority of the on-site surface terrain is common. Unless sensitively completed, modifications or elimination of major and minor natural landforms may result.

3)    "Contour grading" shall mean the movement of earth in such a manner that the final landform has a natural round appearance. This is accomplished by blending finish contours with the adjacent natural terrain to achieve a consistent grade; and by avoiding flat two dimensional or angular surfaces. Contour grading techniques may be applied to both limited and mass grading projects.

v.    "Hardscape" shall mean and refer to the impervious horizontal surfaces placed on a site for primarily pedestrian circulation. Certain portions of vehicular circulation areas may be included in the definition of a hardscape area providing extraordinary design considerations apply.

w.    "Infrastructural improvements" shall mean and refer to the construction of major backbone developments, including but not limited to, roads, storm drain systems, and utilities, necessary to support development of specific areas.

x.    "In-situ sample" shall mean and refer to an intact soil sample obtained in such a way that it represents the characteristics of in-place soil material.

y.    "Key" shall mean a designed, compacted fill placed in a trench excavated in earth material beneath the toe of a proposed fill slope.

z.    "Open space" shall mean the public open space, private open space, or areas of dedication of scenic easement/development rights.

aa.    "Pad certification" shall mean a written engineering opinion concerning the location and elevation of the building pad upon completion of rough grade activities.

bb.    "Retaining wall" shall mean a wall designed to resist the lateral displacement of soil or other materials.

cc.    "Site" shall mean and include all of a plot or parcel of land, or combination of contiguous plots or parcels of land. For the purpose of percent natural slope calculations, open space land may be excluded.

dd.    "Slope" shall mean an inclined ground surface the inclination of which is expressed as a ratio of horizontal distance to vertical distance.

ee.    "Soil" shall mean naturally occurring surficial (unconsolidated) deposits overlying bedrock.

ff.    "Soil engineer (or geotechnical engineer)" shall mean a civil engineer who is experienced in soil mechanics and has a valid certificate as a registered civil engineer or geotechnical engineer by the State of California, who investigates and reports on the stability of existing or proposed slopes and retaining walls, controls the placement and compaction of fills, recommends soil bearing values, and provides design criteria and calculations for special earth structures such as buttress fills.

gg.    "Soil engineering" shall mean the application of the principles of soil mechanics in the investigation, evaluation, and design of civil works involving the use of earth materials, and the inspection and testing of the construction thereof.

hh.    "Terrace" shall mean a relatively level step utilizing grading and retaining walls constructed in the face of an engineered slope surface for drainage and maintenance purposes.

ii.    "City Engineer" shall mean the individual charged with the ultimate authority to enforce this chapter up to and including pad certification. Additionally, projects not requiring pad certification and projects requiring more than 5,000 cubic yards of earth to be moved shall be administrated by the City Engineer.


6.9.202 General.

a.    Prohibited Action; Permit Required. No person shall do any grading, clearing and grubbing or locate or maintain any grading equipment on any lot or property without first obtaining the appropriate grading permit unless such work is specifically exempted under this chapter. No permit shall be issued until applicant obtains conceptual approval from Chief of Planning.

b.    Prohibited Action; Grading. No person shall grade, whether or not a permit is required under this chapter, so that dirt, soil, rock, debris, or other material washed, eroded, or moved from the property by natural or artificial means creates a public nuisance or hazard, or an unlawful encroachment on other property or on a public road or street. Any such matter deposited within the right-of-way of a public road or street which may constitute a nuisance or hazard to public traffic shall be removed immediately by the permittee. Failure to do so on notice from the City is a misdemeanor and the City may have the matter removed at the expense of the responsible party and/or permittee in addition to any other appropriate action.

c.    Prohibited Action; Water Obstruction. No person shall obstruct, impede, interfere or otherwise adversely affect the natural flow of storm waters, whether unconfined upon the surface of the land, within land depressions or natural drainage paths, within unimproved channels or watercourses, or within improved ditches, channels or conduits, except for construction operations permitted by the City.

d.    Prohibited Action; Construction in Public Rights-of-Way. No person shall perform any work or construct any facility (including, but not limited to, excavation, embankment, trenching, driveway construction, or drainage facility) within the right-of-way of a public road or street, or within an easement under the jurisdiction of this City without an encroachment permit from the City.


6.9.302 General.

No person may grade, fill, excavate, store, or dispose of soil and earth materials or perform any other land-disturbing or land-filling activity without first obtaining a permit as set forth in this chapter, unless exempted by Section 6.9.304.

6.9.304 Exemptions.

A grading permit is not required for the following:

a.    An excavation below finished grade for basements and footings of a building, retaining wall, swimming pool or other structures authorized by a valid building permit. This shall not exempt the fill made with the material from such excavation nor exempt any excavation having an unsupported height greater than five feet after the completion of the structure;

b.    Cemetery graves;

c.    Emergency work as authorized by the City to protect the public health, safety, welfare and property; or to maintain the safety, use or stability of a public way or drainage course;

d.    Grading on a site or contiguous sites held under one ownership in which all of the items in section.

1)    A fill not intended to support structures which the City Engineer determines will not change, obstruct or otherwise adversely affect the existing drainage pattern if the fill:

a)    Is placed on a natural grade having a slope of less than five feet horizontal to one foot vertical; and

b)    Is less than three feet in depth at its deepest point as measured vertically from natural grade to the surface of the fill; and

c)    Does not exceed 100 cubic yards; and

d)    Is no closer than three feet to an exterior property line; or

2)    An excavation which:

a)    Is less than three feet in depth at its deepest point as measured vertically from the natural ground surface to the finished elevation of the excavation; and

b)    Does not result in the movement of more than 100 cubic yards; and

c)    Does not create a cut slope greater than five feet in height or steeper than three feet horizontal to one foot vertical; and

d)    Is no closer than five feet to an exterior property line or no closer than one-half the height of any existing building or retaining structure or slope (whichever is greater).

e.    Weed Abatement. Erosion-control measures may be required if the City Engineer determines that the weed abatement may create adverse runoff potential and siltation concerns.

6.9.306 Grading Permits.

A grading permit is required to control all forms of grading activity on a site. The grading permit may be phased at the applicant’s discretion into segments of work as long as the site is not left in an unstable, erodible or unsafe condition. The possible phasing of the grading permit is referenced below.

a.    Rough Grading Permit. The purpose of a rough grading permit is to allow the applicant to begin working on a site requiring minor to moderate grading. It can also be used for mass grading or infrastructural improvements in which building pads, street rights-of-way and slopes are graded to substantial conformance with the approved plans, but no specific improvements are proposed. The scope of work covered by a rough grading permit includes the following:

1)    Site preparation, site private drainage, over-excavation (if required), clearing and grubbing;

2)    Grading of building pads, street rights-of-way and cut slopes to a rough grade condition:

3)    Importation and stockpiling of fill material required for the project which will be compacted in place within five working days;

4)    Implementation of erosion-control measures;

5)    Any other work deemed reasonable and necessary by the City Engineer to bring the site to a stable geological condition.

b.    Fine Grading Permit. Grading that is required to take a project from pad certification to project completion is called fine grading, and falls under the authority of the Chief Building Official. It may also be used to encompass the entire grading aspect of a project. The scope of work covered by the free grading permit includes the following:

1)    Re-grade to acceptable line and grade tolerances (fine grade) of any areas to be covered by any paving or hardscape surface;

2)    Finish grading of all cut and/or fill slopes, landscape berms and berms adjacent to the building;

3)    Lot drainage and side-yard swale.

c.    Hillside Grading Permit. A hillside grading permit is required when the existing average gradient of the site is 10% or greater. This permit category serves to identify hillside sites and to ensure adequate attention is given to potential problems, such as slope stability and erosion control, associated with hillside grading and falls under the authority of the City Engineer. Grading necessary to construct retaining wall structures in hillside areas, as defined in the Zoning Ordinance, shall be confined within seven feet of the building footprint of the structure and within the necessary roadways to permit vehicular access to the site. Applicants for grading permits will be encouraged to construct retaining walls within the footprint if it is apparent that graded cut and fill slopes cannot be integrated into the natural surroundings in an acceptable manner. Plans prepared for sites designated as falling within hillside areas as defined above shall include the following:

1)    Detailed sections of keyways, retaining structures, buttressing and daylighting of all slopes;

2)    Private drainage improvements such as slope drainage devices, terrace drains, desilting basins and subdrain systems; and

3)    Any other design considerations which were utilized to preserve the natural terrain.

6.9.308 Erosion – Control Permit.

No person shall do any work requiring a grading or paving permit without also obtaining an erosion-control permit. The purpose for this requirement is to minimize the quantity of silty debris entering a City or County-maintained storm water collection facility or roadway due to construction site run-off. A site required to implement desilting or erosion-control measures shall have them installed and operable prior to October 15 and at any other time erosion potential exists. The contractor shall install these measures according to the current edition of the City’s guidelines and regulations prescribed herein. The erosion-control permit may be included within the scope of the grading permit; however, a grading permit may not be issued until an erosion-control plan has been accepted for review by the City. The erosion-control permit may be waived by the City Engineer for projects of a minor nature as determined by the City Engineer.

6.9.310 On –Site Paving Permit.

No person shall do paving work on new parking lots, new private streets, or overlays of existing parking lots or private streets without first obtaining an on-site paving permit. This permit may be incorporated into the fine grading permit for on-site construction or the encroachment permit for any proposed paving to be located within a site. Pavement striping shall be shown on the approved site plan in accordance with standards and shall be reviewed and approved by the Chief Building Official and Community Development Director to assure compliance with existing conditions of approval and other applicable laws and ordinances, such as handicap requirements prior to permit issuance.

6.9.312 Blasting Permit.

No person shall do any blasting without first obtaining a blasting permit. An application for a blasting permit may be accepted for review by the City Engineer only after all possible alternative design concepts and construction methods have been explored and rejected. The burden of justifying the necessity for the use of dynamite or similar explosives on a construction site is the applicant’s. Any proposed project requiring the blasting of natural terrain to achieve an engineered grade is discouraged by the City of Oakley unless reviewed by the City Engineer. New construction shall be designed to conform to the existing terrain.

6.9.314 Conditions Of Approval.

Approval of permits shall be made subject to the appropriate conditions or requirements necessary to protect public health, safety, and general welfare; including, but not limited to the following:

a.    Completion of the work within a period approved by the Chief Building Official or City Engineer;

b.    Cleaning up the area and planting in accordance with approved plans;

c.    Designation of the area covered by the permit;

d.    Designation of the limits, rate of grade and elevation of proposed slopes and cut of all areas;

e.    Reasonable provisions for controlling excessive dust;

f.    Hours and days of operation;

g.    Safety precautions such as barricades, flashers, flagmen, etc. to guide pedestrian and vehicular traffic in, around, and by the operation;

h.    Posting of a good and sufficient bond to assure compliance with the conditions;

i.    Other conditions deemed necessary by the Chief Building Official or City Engineer based on engineering practices accepted in the area;

j.    The conditions of approval shall be considered to be part of the approved grading plan and shall be attached to all approved sets of plans;

k.    Designation and approval of a haul route;

l.    Water source location;

m.    Tree ordinance.

6.9.316 Liability And Property Damage.

For permits with a valuation of $50,000 or more, permittee shall provide satisfactory proof by a certified copy of an insurance policy signed by a representative of the insurer authorized to bond the insurer, that the permittee has in force a valid public liability insurance policy which includes the City, its officers, employees and agents as additional insureds. The insurance coverage shall be in an amount the City Engineer deems sufficient to adequately protect the additional insureds from liability for damages to person(s) or property(s) arising from the activities related to the permit. The City Engineer may waive the provisions of this chapter relating to cash deposit or surety bond for permits required upon satisfactory proof by certificate of insurance that the permittee is adequately insured to assure reimbursement to the City for repair of any damage.

6.9.318 Denial of Permit.

a.    Hazards. A permit shall be denied in any case where the work as proposed by the applicant may adversely affect the stability of adjoining property, result in the depositing of debris on any public way, interfere with any existing drainage course, or be in an area where no reasonable amount of corrective work can eliminate or sufficiently reduce the flooding or geological hazard. If, in the opinion of the City Engineer, the land area for which grading is proposed is subject to geological or flood hazard to the extent that no reasonable amount of corrective work such as retaining structures, buttress fills, or drainage devices can convincingly eliminate or sufficiently reduce the hazard to human life or property, the City Engineer shall make a written finding so stating and shall deny the grading permit and the building permits for habitable structures.

b.    Hazard Created. The City shall not issue a permit where the work, as proposed by the applicant, is liable to constitute a hazard to public or private property or result in the deposition of debris on any public way or interfere with any existing drainage course.

c.    Land Use. A permit shall not be issued for work that will not comply with all provisions of this chapter and any conditions imposed by the planning agency on approval of the use.

d.    Existing Building or Zoning Code Violations. A permit shall not be issued under this chapter if any building or zoning code violations are found to exist on the site.

e.    Rejection and Revisions. Rejection of the application or plans shall be considered a denial of the permit. However, denial of a permit based on insufficient or inadequate plans shall not preclude the applicant from submitting a revised application or revised plans in conjunction with a pending application.

6.9.320 Time Limits of Grading Operations.

a.    The permittee shall fully perform and complete all of the work required to be done pursuant to the permit within the time limit specified therein or, if no time is so specified, within 180 days after the date of issuance of the permit.

b.    If the work is not completed within the specified time, a request for an extension of time setting forth the reasons for the requested extension shall be presented in writing to the City Engineer. The City Engineer may grant additional time for the work.

c.    If all the permit work required is not completed within the time limit specified in subsection (a) of this section, no further grading shall be done without renewing the permit. A written request for renewal shall be submitted to the City Engineer. A new application may be required considering the time between the expiration date and the renewal request, changes in City regulations or subsequent development in the immediate area. Plans must be revised and rechecked.

6.9.322 Responsibility of Permittee.

The permittee shall be ultimately responsible for ensuring that all permitted construction is accomplished within the parameters set by any and all applicable codes, provisions and conditions of approval; and that such work proceeds per the approved plans. The permittee shall also execute a "hold harmless" clause on the permit, which shall read as follows:

"By accepting this permit, the permittee, for contractors, and employees, promises to save, indemnify and hold harmless the City of Oakley and its employees, agents and representatives from all liabilities and claims for damages by reason of injury or death to any person(s), damage to property, from any cause whatsoever while in, upon or in any way connected with the work covered by this grading permit, and does further promise to defend these indemnities in any claim or action arising out of, or as a result of, the work done under this permit."

6.9.324 Protection of Adjoining Property.

No work shall be undertaken which may result in damages to, obstruction of, or possible hazards to any adjoining property. Whenever any portion of the work requires entry onto adjacent property for any reason, the permit applicant shall obtain the written consent of the adjacent property owner or his/her authorized representative, and shall file a copy of the consent with the City Engineer before a permit for such work may be issued.

6.9.326 Notice of Non –Compliance.

If the soil, civil, or City Engineer finds that the work is not in conformance with this chapter or with the plans approved by the City Engineer, Chief Building Official, or with locally accepted practices, permittee shall be immediately notified in writing of the nonconformity and of the corrective measures to be taken.

6.9.328 Permit Administration.

a.    Application.

1)    Written. To obtain a permit the applicant shall first file a written application on an approved form. Every application shall conform to the requirements set forth in Section 6.9.320.

2)    Information. The following shall be included on each application form: site description; names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons involved; estimate of the time schedule of work; estimate of the cost of performing the work; signature of the owner or authorized agent; and any other information required by the City Engineer.

3)    Accompanying Materials. The application shall be accompanied by the following material: Applicable fees; engineer’s estimate of quantities and cost of work; three copies of a geotechnical or engineering geology reports; four (4) sets of grading or site plans; four sets of interim and final erosion-control plans; master work schedule; approved bonds or securities; any other additional information required by the City Engineer.

4)    Civil and Soil Engineer’s Signatures. Plans shall be prepared and signed by the civil engineer. The plans shall also be reviewed for conformance to the soil engineer’s recommendations and signed by the soil engineer. Signatures may not be required if approved by the City Engineer.

5)    Other Clearances. Written clearance will be required from both Building and Planning Divisions. Written clearances may also be required from, but not limited to, the following agencies: The California Regional Water Control Board, California Department of Fish and Game, Fire Protection District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The applicant shall be responsible for submitting copies of plans and reports required by those divisions or agencies.

6)    Haul Routes. If the grading project includes the movement of earth material to or from the site in an amount considered substantial by the City Engineer, the permittee shall submit a haul plan for review and approval by the City Engineer prior to the issuance of a grading permit. This plan should include the proposed route, size of trucks, dust control measures, and time and frequency of trips. The City Engineer may require alternate routes or special requirements in consideration of the possible impact on the adjacent community or roadway. There shall be no additional fee for the haul route plan check.

7)    Peer Review. The City may contract for outside technical peer review of civil and geotechnical engineering reports and plans at the applicant’s expense. The cost for peer review shall be added to the permit fee. Any disputes arising from peer review shall be resolved by the City Engineer within 10 working days from the applicant’s written request.

b.    Approval and Issuance.

1)    Applications in which the design meets the requirements of this chapter, and the construction is not deemed detrimental to adjoining properties or to the public interest, shall be approved. When all fees and bonds are posted, a permit shall be issued, and the approval and issuance shall be noted on the application and plans.

2)    Applications and plans found inadequate or not in compliance with this chapter shall not be approved until revised to conform to the conditions and regulations prescribed herein.

3)    The issuance of a permit shall constitute an authorization to do only that work which is described or illustrated on the application for the permit, or on the development plans and specifications approved by the City Engineer.

4)    Grading permits do not relieve the owner of the responsibility of securing permits or licenses that may be required from other departments or divisions of the governing agencies. When an application is approved and a permit issued, one set of approved plans shall be kept available for reference at the job site during grading and construction. The permit shall be posted securely in a conspicuous location on the site.

5)    Permits for projects requiring approved public improvement plans shall not be issued prior to the return to the City of the first plan check of the improvement plan, unless specifically authorized by the City Engineer.

c.    Amendments.

1)    All changes in the plans, grades, or extent of work shall be submitted to the City Engineer for written approval and incorporation into the permit prior to starting any work covered by the proposed revision. The approving agency may amend the permit to include the altered plans, or may deny approval of the changes.

2)    Failure to obtain prior approval for any change in the work shall be cause for the City Engineer to order suspension of all work until approval is obtained, and may result in revocation of the permit.

d.    Transfer.

1)    Any transfer of a permit from the permittee to another person shall be ineffective and void unless approved by the City Engineer.

2)    The transferee shall agree to comply with the requirements and conditions of the original permit and to any modification thereof that may be required because of changes in the condition of the site or change in plans since the permit was issued. The transferee shall furnish the required sureties before the transfer of the permit will be approved.

e.    Expiration and Renewal/Extension. Applications shall be considered "pending" until a grading permit is issued, denied or withdrawn. Applications shall expire 90 days from the date of filing. An expired application may be renewed or a new application filed on payment of a new filing fee. Before the expiration of a permit, the applicant may apply for an extension of time in which to complete the work. One extension of time may be granted by the City Engineer if it is judged that the public welfare will not be impaired. The extension shall be for a period the City Engineer deems appropriate, but not longer than one year. Denial of an extension shall not preclude the permittee from applying for a new permit for the balance of the work, subject to conditions the City Engineer deems appropriate. The applicant shall file the surety’s written consent to any extension of time before approval is effective.

f.    Suspension and Revocation.

1)    Grounds. A permit may be either suspended or revoked if the Chief Building Official or City Engineer finds that:

a)    Conditions at the site vary substantially from those shown and stated in the application and development plans;

b)    Grading or construction does not conform to the approved plans, grades or other conditions of permit;

c)    Cessation of work before completion has left the site in a condition hazardous to the public or to the adjacent properties, and the permittee has not complied with reasonable requirements for completion of the work within the time specified in the permit or an approved extension of time;

d)    The permittee does not comply with reasonable requirements to safeguard the workmen, the public or other persons acting in a lawful manner, during grading or construction operations;

e)    In transporting materials, or in the operation of equipment, the applicant causes materials or litter to encroach, obstruct, or be deposited on pavement or in drainage channels within the public right-of-way, or causes unauthorized obstruction or diversion of drainage channels within the site area;

f)    There is no qualified technician, working under the soil engineer, on the site during grading and construction requiring his/her approval.

2)    Procedure. The City Engineer may suspend or revoke a permit by making a written finding and order; and he/she may seize the permit and/or make appropriate notations on its of the suspension or revocation. Upon the written order of the City Engineer, any suspended permit must be either reinstated or revoked.

3)    Effective of Revocation. Whenever a permit has been revoked, work on the site shall not begin again until a new application incorporating the necessary revisions in plans or methods of operation required to fulfill the intent of this chapter, and in accordance with these regulations, has been approved by the revoking agency.

g.    Notice to Stop Work. On issuance of a written notice to cease work, the permittee shall immediately stop all grading and hauling operations until written permission is received from the City Engineer allowing the permittee to proceed.

h.    Fines and Penalties. Any person, firm, corporation or agency acting as principal agent, employee, or otherwise, who fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction thereof, the offender shall be punishable by a fine of no less than $1,000 and not more than $20,000 or by imprisonment in the County jail for not more than six months or both, for each separate offense. Each day any violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense.

i.    Appeal. Suspension, revocation and Stop Work Notices may be appealed to the City Manager. The City Manager’s decision may be appealed to the Planning Commission in accordance with the City Code.


6.9.402 Rainy Season Grading.

Grading activity, up to and including pad certification, is subject to periodic review and approval of the City Engineer and may be prohibited between October 15 and April 15 or at any other time erosion potential exists, Grading activity may occur between October 15 and April 15 upon approval by the City Engineer of applicant’s written request.

6.9.404 Erosion – Control System.

a.    Interim erosion-control plans are required for each grading or paving permit for work performed during the rainy season. This plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

1)    Calculations of surface run-off from the site under reasonably expected rainfall events.

2)    A delineation and brief description of the measures to be undertaken to retain sediment on the site, including the designs and specifications for sediment detention basins and traps, and a schedule for their maintenance and upkeep.

3)    A delineation and brief description of the surface run-off and erosion-control measures to be implemented, including types and methods of applying mulches, and designs and specifications for diverters, dikes and drains, and a schedule for their maintenance and upkeep. Use of gravel bags are encouraged over sand bags.

4)    A delineation and brief description of the vegetative measures to be used, including types of seed and fertilizer and their application rates, the type, location and extent of pre-existing and undisturbed vegetation types, and a schedule for maintenance and upkeep.

5)    The name and 24 hour telephone number of the person responsible for performing emergency erosion-control work.

6)    The signature of the erosion-control specialist who prepared the plan and who is responsible for monitoring of the erosion-control work.

7)    The streets and drainage devices that will be completed and paved by October 15.

8)    Indication of how access will be provided to maintain desilting facilities during wet weather.

9)    A work schedule that includes: the proposed grading schedule; the proposed conditions of the site on August 15, September 15, October 1, and October 15 during which the permit is in effect; the proposed schedule for installation of all temporary erosion and sediment-control measures; schedule for construction of final improvements; and schedule for installation of permanent erosion and sediment control devices when required.

10)    Consideration of drainage patterns during the various phases of grading throughout the rainy season.

11)    An estimate of the cost of implementing and maintaining all interim erosion and sediment-control measures.

12)    Any additional information required by the City Engineer to ensure performance of erosion and sediment-control systems.

b.    Final erosion-control plans are required for each grading or paving permit and shall describe conditions after constructing final structures and improvements. This plan shall include the following:

1)    A description of, and specifications for, sediment detention devices.

2)    A description of and specifications for surface run-off and erosion-control devices.

3)    A description of vegetative measures.

4)    An estimate of the costs of implementing all final erosion and sediment-control measures, submitted in a form acceptable to the City Engineer.

c.    The surface of all cut slopes more than five feet in height and fill slopes more than three feet in height shall be protected against erosion by planting with grass or ground cover plants. The plants and planting methods shall be suitable for the soil and climatic conditions of the site and in accordance with standard specifications on file in the Engineering Division.

6.9.406 Erosion –Control Maintenance.

The permittee is responsible for maintaining temporary erosion-control measures in substantial conformance with the approved erosion-control plan(s) for the entire time during which construction is being performed. An erosion-control permit is required on all sites unless specifically exempted in this chapter or by the City Engineer. A bond or cash deposit may be required by the City prior to grading permit issuance to ensure compliance with these regulations. The bond or cash security may be retained by the City for a period of one year if, in the City’s opinion, a question exists as to the slope stability without natural vegetation.


6.9.502 General Provisions.

Terracing and the associated drainage facilities are prohibited except for special circumstances as determined by the City Engineer. When permitted, these facilities shall conform to the following specifications unless shown otherwise on the approved grading plan:

a.    When cut or fill slopes greater than 30 feet in height are authorized, drainage collection and slope stability devices shall be incorporated in accordance with City standards.

b.    On manufactured slopes greater than 30 feet in height drainage collection and slope stability devices shall have a minimum gradient of 2% and must be paved with reinforced concrete, or approved equivalent.

c.    Run-off shall not be collected from a tributary area exceeding 13,500 square feet without discharging into a system (ditch or pipe) approved by the City Engineer.

d.    Cut and fill slopes shall be provided with approved subsurface drainage as necessary for stability and protection of adjacent properties from the influence of groundwater. The design of such facilities shall be contained in the approved preliminary (initial) soil engineering or engineering geology report and/or shall appear on the approved grading plan pursuant to the approval of the soil engineer and the engineering geologist (if applicable).

e.    Subsurface drainage facilities shall be installed beneath all fills and where natural and artificially introduced ground water affects, or is likely to affect, the project in a potentially unstable, hazardous or otherwise deleterious manner.

f.    All drainage facilities shall be designed to carry waters to the nearest approved drainage system.

g.    Where surface waters are to be conducted or directed onto adjacent property in an unnatural manner, the applicant shall obtain written permission from the adjacent property owner accepting the surface waters prior to issuance of a grading permit.

h.    Building sites shall have a sheet flow drainage gradient of 2% minimum from the structure toward approved swales or drainage facilities, unless otherwise waived by the Chief Building Official. The maximum drainage gradient of an earth swale shall be 4%.

i.    Grading of future building sites under a preliminary grading permit for the purpose of lot sales shall have a sheet flow drainage gradient of 2% toward approved drainage facilities. The City Engineer may reduce this minimum gradient to 1% upon the written request of the applicant of his/her agent, providing the applicant demonstrates the following:

1)    Finish grades for drainage of building sites can be constructed in accordance with the requirements of this subsection without importing additional fill; and

2)    Sufficient approved swales or drainage facilities are constructed to prevent water from ponding on any lot supported by a natural slope.

j.    Finish grades, other than those detailed in subsections (b), (h) and (i) of this section, shall conform to the following minimum drainage gradient standards:


Surface Condition/Flow Type

Minimum Gradient


Earth swales



Earth (sheet flow)



Asphalt pavement (sheet flow)



Concrete drain in earth area



Concrete gutter in asphalt paved area



Concrete pavement (sheet flow)


k.    Approved interceptor drains shall be installed along the top of all manufactured slopes unless waived by the City Engineer.

l.    Slopes flatter than 3:1 shall be re-vegetated, interceptor and subdrain systems installed as required by the City Engineer, and have appropriate setbacks as defined in the current Uniform Building Code (UBC) and sediment collection areas at the base of the slope.


6.9.602 Fees.

No fee or form of security referenced in this chapter exempts any individual or project from paying additional fees or from obtaining any other approvals as required by the Oakley Municipal Code or other agency. The schedule of fees will be those adopted by the City Council from time to time by resolution. Before a permit is issued the applicant shall deposit with the City Clerk cash or check in a sufficient sum to cover the fee for issuance of the permit, plan checking charge, charges for field investigation, and the fee for necessary inspection, all in accordance with schedules established by the City Council.

6.9.604 Grading Plan Check Fee.

Grading plan check fees shall be established by the City Council and shall periodically be amended by resolution to keep pace with the cost of plan checking activities.

6.9.606 Grading Permit Fee.

The grading permit fee shall be as determined by the latest edition of the adopted Uniform Building Code as published by the International Conference of Building Officials and as regionally adjusted for the San Francisco area if applicable.

6.9.608 Grading Inspection Fees.

Grading inspection fees shall be established by the City Engineer and shall periodically be amended to keep pace with the cost of inspecting grading activity.

The grading inspection fees shall be computed based upon the minimal fee assessed plus a percentage of the actual construction cost plus a per yard cost as established in the "Grading Fee Schedule".

6.9.610 Cost Recovery Fees.

The City Engineer, as a discretionary act, may assess special fees in order to regain costs, or anticipated costs, on specific plan checking or inspection services. These fees will be paid at permit issuance or prior to the issuance of certificates of use and occupancy and will be based on the actual costs for providing plan checking and inspections.

6.9.612 Debris/Clean Up Deposit.

A cash deposit shall be posted with the City prior to the issuance of a grading permit to assure the clean up of the site, the surrounding premises and the public right-of-way. The amount of the deposit shall be determined by the City. The deposit will be returned to the applicant if it can be determined prior to the issuance of certificates of use and occupancy that the project site and surrounding areas have been restored to their clean and ultimately improved condition. The City, at its discretion, may utilize funds from the deposit for clean-up of conditions considered unsafe or determined to be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare. Deposit funds may also be utilized for clean-up if such conditions could prove to be materially injurious to properties or improvements in the vicinity of the site. If, at the discretion of the City, it can be determined that a condition may arise regarding graded slope stability and erosion potential, the deposit may be held for one year or until such time that it can be determined that significant vegetation exists so as not to pose a threat to the public health, safety and welfare.

6.9.614 Special Inspection Fees.

The City Engineer, as a discretionary act, may assess "special inspection fees" to cover the cost of providing said service. This fee shall apply only in special circumstances and shall be for the actual inspection. Special inspections shall be determined to be those inspections not considered a part of the normal inspection process.

6.9.616 Fees for Extensions of Time.

In the event that an extension of time is needed to complete the grading operation, as permitted under the original grading permit, a fee equal to the initial site inspection fee shall be paid for each extension of time requested. Said fee shall be paid prior to the request for any subsequent inspections after the expiration of the initial permit or previous extension of time.

6.9.618 Security.

a.    Security Amount. Security shall be posted with the City in an amount required by the "Grading Fee Schedule" prior to the issuance of the grading permit.

b.    Cash Deposit. Unless this section is waived in the permit, and before a permit is effective, an applicant shall deposit with the City cash or a certified or cashier’s check in a sum to be fixed by the City as sufficient to reimburse the City for costs of restoring the site to its former condition, based on the schedules adopted by resolution of the City Council. An applicant may file a cash deposit on an annual basis in a sum estimated by the City Engineer as sufficient to cover his/her activities during any 12 month period.

c.    Bond in Lieu of Cash Deposit. Instead of the cash deposit prescribed in subsection (b) of this section, the applicant, on approval by the City, may file a cash deposit in the minimum sum established by the schedules, adopted for that purpose by the City Council and in effect at the time of application for a permit. The balance of the sum fixed by the City Engineer as sufficient to reimburse the City for expenses incurred in restoring the site to its former condition may be filed in the form of an approved surety bond issued by a company authorized to conduct a general surety business in the State.

d.    Annual Bond. Instead of a cash deposit, the applicant, on approval by the City, may annually file with the City Clerk an approved surety bond issued by a company authorized to conduct a general surety business in the State, in a sum fixed by the City Engineer as sufficient to reimburse the City for expenses to be incurred in restoring the site to its former condition, subject to the schedules adopted by the City Council.

e.    Additional Bond or Cash Deposit. The City may require an additional bond or cash deposit at any time that evidence indicates that the amount of the bond or cash deposit previously made is insufficient to cover the cost of restoring the site to its former condition, subject to the schedules adopted by the City Council.

f.    Condition of Bond or Cash Deposit. The condition of any bond or cash deposit made under this chapter shall be that the permittee comply diligently and in good faith with this title and the terms and conditions of the permit.

g.    Payable to City -- Release. Any bond or cash deposit required by the City under this chapter shall be payable to the City and shall be filed with the City Clerk who shall release it 90 days after satisfactory completion of all work authorized in the permit and fulfillment of all conditions of the permit.

h.    Amount of Security. The amount of the security as referenced in this chapter shall be in accordance with those amounts referenced in the "Grading Fee Schedule". The security shall be for the purpose of securing faithful performance and labor and materials on the specific project.

i.    Alternate Security. A Letter of Credit or Certificate of Deposit may be substituted for a cash deposit or bond in a sum to be fixed by the City as sufficient to reimburse the City for costs of restoring the site to its former condition, based on the schedules adopted by resolution of the City Council. An applicant may file a cash deposit on an annual basis in a sum estimated by the City Engineer as sufficient to cover his/her activities during any 12 month period.

j.    Landscape Bond. A landscape bond shall be filed with the City in a sum established by City as sufficient to cover the costs for installation of materials as indicated on the approved plans.


6.9.702 Completion Reports Required.

Upon completion of the rough grading work, and at the final completion of the work under the grading permit, but before the issuance of building permits or release of grading bonds or issuance of a certificate of use and occupancy, the City Engineer may require:

a.    An as-graded grading plan prepared by the civil engineer or other qualified person which shall include corrected original ground surface elevations, if necessary, graded ground surface elevations, lot drainage patterns, engineered slope inclination, and location of all surface and subsurface drainage facilities (final grading).

b.    A written approval by the civil engineer certifying the grading as being substantially in conformance with the approved grading plan and specifically approving the following items as appropriate to the project and stage of grading:

1)    Construction of line and grade for all engineered drainage devices and retaining walls (rough and final grading).

2)    Staking of property comers for proper building location (rough grading).

3)    Setting of all monuments in accordance with the recorded tract map (rough or final grading).

4)    Location of permanent walls or structures on property comers or property lines where monumentation is not required (final grading).

5)    Location and inclination of all engineered slopes (rough and final grading).

6)    Construction of earthen berms and positive building pad drainage (rough and final grading).

7)    Construction of line and grade for all curbing (final grading).

c.    A soil engineering report prepared by the soil engineer, including type of field testing performed, certification of utility trench and retaining wall backfill, summaries of field and laboratory tests and other substantiating data, and comments on any changes made during grading and their effect on the recommendations made in the approved soil engineering investigation report. Each field density test shall be identified, located on a plan or map, the elevation of test and finish grade elevation shown, and the method of obtaining the in-place density described, using either Uniform Building Code Standard 70-2, ASTM D1557 or the approved equal. The soil engineer shall provide a written approval certifying the adequacy of the site for the intended use, as affected by soil engineering factors, The City Engineer may require that the soil tests or testing be performed by an approved testing agency.

d.    A geology report prepared by the engineering geologist, including a final description of the geology of the site including any new information disclosed during the grading, and the effect of same on recommendations incorporated in the approved as to the adequacy of the site for the intended use as affected by geologic factors and, when required by the City Engineer, shall submit an as-built geologic map.

e.    Any other reports, progress reports, or certifications deemed necessary by the City Engineer due to the unusual nature of the project or method of construction, or as a result of reviewing the reports required herein.

6.9.704 Notice of Completion.

The City Engineer shall issue a certificate of completion upon satisfactory completion of permitted work.

6.9.706 Emergency Conditions.

This chapter shall not prevent a person from performing emergency maintenance on pipe or conduit lawfully on or under right-of-way, or making an emergency use, or encroachment necessary to preserve life or property when an urgent necessity arises, except the person making an emergency use, repair or encroachment shall apply for a written permit within 10 calendar days of beginning the work. A person requiring an emergency use, repair or encroachment shall first notify the City Engineer’s office. During the hours the City offices are closed, notice shall be given the Oakley Police Department.