What is Agricultural Grading?
- Agricultural Grading Is:
- Agricultural discing on an operating farm.
- The raising of crops or animals by an operating farm exclusively for commercial agricultural purposes (hereinafter referred to as “agricultural grading or clearing”) when all excavated material remains on-site and the agricultural grading or clearing occurs on either of the following:
- Land that has been farmed within the preceding five (5) years
- Land that is used exclusively to raise crops or animals within (1) year of the grading and clearing exemption.
Agricultural Exemption Fees
- Agricultural Grading/Clearing Verification Certificate
- Agricultural Grading/Clearing Certificate Exemption Form
- Description of Property – Briefly describe the property on which the grading or clearing will occur, describe any plans for AG development, and provide a MAP detailing the following information:
- Property location (APN)
- Existing or proposed agricultural activities
- All access roads
- All areas to be graded or cleared
- All existing dwellings or buildings or denote as vacant
- Natural Drainage Flow (include entire drainage width) indicate as a “No Disturbance Area”
- Erosion control method(s) utilized (BMPs)
- Attach approved erosion control plan from United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service or licensed soil engineer where any grading or clearing performed under this exemption involves a slope angle of 10 % or greater.
- Irrigation System layout
- Drainage system layout
- Existing or proposed animal facilities (when applicable)
Agricultural Grading/Clearing Certificate Exemption (Per Ordinance 457)
- The Agricultural Grading/Clearing Certificate shall be filed with the Building Official prior to commencing the agricultural grading or clearing.
- The Certificate shall be accompanied by the appropriate processing fee.
- An approved erosion control plan from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service or licensed soil engineer where any grading and clearing performed under the exemption involves a slope angle of ten (10%) or greater.
- The filing of a Certificate shall not be construed to authorize the commencement or continuance of any activity prohibited by this ordinance, any other County ordinance, or any state or federal law or regulation.
- Any person who files a Certificate shall file, under penalty of perjury, a completed ‘Agricultural Grading/Clearing Verification’ (“Verification”) within one (1) year of filing of said Certificate. Said Verification shall be accompanied, where an approved erosion control plan has been previously required to be submitted, by a written confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service or licensed soil engineer that all work required in the approved erosion control plan has been performed.
- This exemption shall be restricted to only those areas disturbed for actual farming and shall not apply to the grading or clearing associated with the construction of any building or structure itself and shall not apply to grading or clearing for any activity that requires a Land Use Permit .
- Furthermore, any grading or clearing performed under this exemption shall not be construed to have been evaluated for compliance with the grading or building requirements of this ordinance or any of the applicable technical codes.
- Any ‘Agricultural Grading and Clearing Registration’ approved before October 28, 2010 in accordance with the former provisions of this section shall be governed by the following provisions:
- The “Agricultural Grading and Clearing Registration” shall remain valid unless the farming plan which served as the basis for the exception has not shown substantial progress towards implementation within two (2) years of the date the exception was approved or, if at any time during the agricultural grading or clearing, the approved erosion control plan is not being implemented.
- A one (1) time, one (1) year extension may be granted by the Building Official if the registrant can provide reasonable cause why the farming plan could not be implemented within the first two (2) years. A grading permit shall be required for farming plans not implemented within the time allowed.
- If at any time the Building Official determines that the planned or actual grading or clearing is not for agricultural purposes, a grading permit shall be required. The Building Official may require a Site Restoration assessment for sites in non-compliance with ordinance requirements. See Grading Restoration
- An Agricultural Grading/Clearing verification inspection is required within one (1) year of filing this exemption.
- Inspection verifies agricultural grading/clearing of site
- If not graded/cleared per agricultural grading/clearing exemption, a restoration assessment may be required.
- Inspection verifies erosion control measures have been implemented
- If not implemented the inspector may request that an application for Best Management Practice (BMP) Verification be obtained to conduct follow-up inspections.
AG BMP Brochure
Natural Resources Conservation Service
For Conservation/Erosion Control Plan Information
San Jacinto LPO
950 N. Ramona Blvd, Ste 6
San Jacinto, CA 92582-2571
Robert Hewitt – District Conservationist
Contact by Email
California Regional Water Quality Control Board Santa Ana Region
Conditional Waiver for Agricultural Discharges
3737 Main Street, Suite 500
Riverside, Ca 92501
Santa Ana Water Board Website
California Regional Water Quality Control Board San Diego Region
Conditional Waiver No. 4
9174 Sky Park Court, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123-4340
San Diego Water Board Website
California Regional Water Quality Control Board Colorado River Region
Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Agricultural Discharges
73720 Fred Waring Drive, Suite 100
Palm Desert, Ca 92260
Colorado River Water Board Website
Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority
For Agricultural Certificate of Inclusion Information
3403 10th St, Ste 320
Riverside, CA 92501-3627
PO Box 1667
Riverside, CA 92502-1667
Phone: 951- 955-9700
Riverside County Department of Building and Safety
For Agricultural Grading Information and Questions
County Administrative Center
4080 Lemon Street, Ninth Floor
Riverside, CA 92501
PO Box 1629
Riverside, CA 92502-1629