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Clearing and Grading - Land use permit process

Clearing and grading are activities associated with developing property for various commercial and residential uses.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Apply for clearing and grading