Skip to main content
King County logo

Clearing and grading permits regulate clearing and removal of vegetation, excavation, grading and earthwork construction within unincorporated King County. These regulations protect public health, safety and welfare by minimizing stormwater impacts and aquatic and wildlife habitat loss from adverse impacts generated by the removal of vegetation and alteration of landforms. Other protections include water quality from adverse impacts associated with erosion and sedimentation, and critical areas from adverse clearing and grading activities.


Property Research

Check jurisdiction and zoning to determine whether your property is located in unincorporated King County or is located within city limits.

Find your jurisdiction

step 2

Do you need a pre-application meeting?

Large and complicated activities, such as grading proposals for surface mines (e.g., gravel pits) or large highway or pipeline expansions, may require a pre-application conference.

Download pre-application meeting form


step 3

Download application materials

Clearing and Grading Permits package is available for download. You can also pick up materials at our Snoqualmie office, have material mailed to you by calling 206-296-6600, or by emailing

Download clearing and grading permit package

Download CAD engineering templates

step 4

Cost and timeline

Processing is 90 days unless an Environmental Impact Statement is required.

See review process

Check fee schedule

step 5


King County inspects work to ensure code compliance and safety requirements.

Schedule an Inspection

Learn more about land use inspection process

What requires a clearing or grading permit?

Clearing permit
A Clearing Permit is required for any removal of trees or vegetation from a critical area or from properties subject to urban clearing standards or clearing restrictions in a special district overlay defined in 21A.38 of the King County Code (KCC) .

Clearing over 7,000 square feet on RA zoned properties or removal of 5,000 board feet of merchantable timber also requires a permit. A separate forest practices permit may also be required. Grading permit
A Grading Permit is required for any amount of grading around a critical area. Otherwise the threshold for a grading permit is 100 cubic yards or creation of 2,000 square feet of new impervious surface. If more than 500 cubic yards is to be disturbed, a SEPA checklist is required.

Exemptions to clearing and grading permit requirements are listed in King County Code, Title 16.82.050. Also refer to customer information Clearing and Grading Permits.






35030 SE Douglas Street, Suite 210
Snoqualmie, WA 98065-9266

Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri:
7:30-11:30 am & 1:00-3:00 pm

Wednesday: Closed