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Applying for a clearing and grading permits

Applying for a clearing and grading permits

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. See the Pre-application meeting packet.


step 3

Download application materials

Clearing and Grading Permits package is available for download. See our Customer Service Bulletin for submittal information.

Clearing and Grading Permit Packet

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Templates and Data Resources

If you have questions or would like to inquire about alternatives, please email

step 4

Cost and timeline

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

Check fee schedule

step 5


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

Inspection scheduling information and options

Permit status, online

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 the Clearing and Grading packet.






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