Lot grading in residential areas
When is lot grading required?
Strathcona County requires all residential sites zoned as single detached or semi-detached housing serviced by public sanitary sewer systems to conform to approved surface drainage plans.
What is the purpose of lot grading?
- To ensure surface drainage away from structures;
- To provide for controlled surface drainage discharge points and rate of flow entering the public roads and storm sewer system;
- To minimize the amount of infiltration from surface run-off entering the sanitary sewage system
Who is responsible for what?
Rough Grade Stage
The rough grade stage is the responsibility of the builder.
The lot is graded by the builder (contractor) to County requirements. Upon completion of the grading, the builder contacts an accredited Alberta Land Surveyor or Engineering Professional to survey the site and prepare and certify the rough grade certificate. A copy of the rough grade certificate is submitted directly to the County for review.
Upon receipt of the rough grade certificate an inspection is conducted by the County's Lot Grading Inspector. If the inspection passes, an approval letter is sent to the builder or applicant.
If the grading does not pass inspection, the applicant is notified of the deficiencies (a new survey may be required), and a re-inspection must be scheduled once the deficiencies have been corrected.
Final Grade Stage
Final grade stage is the responsibility of the homeowner.
At this stage the homeowner (or contractor) will raise the existing elevations to the final grade levels. This can be done with topsoil, clay, compacted crushed rock or cement. Hardscaping (including concrete walkways and pads) can be done at this time. Areas where decorative rock and/or bark mulch will be installed must first be raised to final grade levels with a compactable material such as clay or topsoil. It is recommended (but not mandatory) to wait for Final Grade approval prior to installing sod or artificial turf.
Once the grading has been completed (according to the applicable lot-grading guidelines), the homeowner must contact an accredited Alberta Land Surveyor or Engineering Professional to provide an as-built survey (or final lot grading certificate). Once completed, the surveyor or engineer will typically forward a copy of the certificate directly to the County Lot Grading Inspector.
When the as-built survey (or final lot grading certificate) has been forwarded to the County, a lot grading inspection is conducted by the County's Lot Grading Inspector.
If the grading passes inspection, an approval letter and stamped copy of the certificate is sent to the homeowner (or the applicant).
The homeowner is then able to proceed with any remaining landscaping of the property.
If the inspection fails, the homeowner is notified of the deficiencies (a new survey may be required), and a re-inspection can be scheduled upon correction of the deficiencies.
Learn more about lot grading maintenance
Printable brochure - Living by an urban lake (251.3 KB)
- Lot grading is the shaping or sloping of the ground to control and direct the surface water run-off to desired discharge points. Grade can also refer to the slope of land, depending on its context.
- Drainage swales are shallow side sloped channels for the conveyance of surface run-off. Each property should contain a minimum of 150 mm of unobstructed width along the common property line for a drainage swale.
- Splash pads/downspouts are required to convey roof leader and sump pump discharge away from the foundation walls to help prevent infiltration and erosion.
Is the process different in the rural area?
Yes. The process is dependent on the size of your property and the level of on-site services (sewer/water). We ask that you contact Planning & Development Services to obtain information on the requirements for your specific project.
Hauling on County roads
If your grading project (urban or rural) involves hauling on County roads, contact our Transportation & Agriculture Services group to obtain information on road use agreements and/or permitting requirements at 780-417-7100.