Grading, Clearing and Watercourses Ordinance Amendment


The County Grading, Clearing, and Watercourses Ordinance (Ordinance) was initially adopted in 1996 to establish regulations and procedures for permitting earth movement (grading) and removing vegetation (clearing) to ensure public safety by preventing slope failure, foundation failure, expansive soil damage, and erosion and drainage problems. The Ordinance explicitly requires compliance with all applicable federal and State requirements and defines “grading” as any excavating, filling, or a combination of the two.

As part of the County’s commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis in the unincorporated area of San Diego, the County Board of Supervisors (BOS) accepted the Options for Removing Barriers to Housing and Facilitating the County’s Status as a Prohousing Jurisdiction (Report) on May 24, 2023. As part of this meeting, the BOS directed an update to the Ordinance to allow by-right ministerial grading permits for by-right housing projects authorized by State law. The proposed change to the Ordinance clarifies that any by-right housing projects under State law are ministerial under the County’s Ordinance and do not require environmental review.

Comments on the Ordinance amendment must be received no later than December 22, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. for a 37-day public disclosure period. These documents can also be reviewed at the PDS, Project Processing Counter, 5510 Overland Avenue, Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92123.

Please direct any questions or formal comments to the project contact below.

Project Contact: Angelica Truong | | (619) 323-8950


PUBLIC DISCLOSURE (November 16, 2023 - December 22, 2023)