Lot Grading Guidelines (Residential Properties)

Lot Grading Plans have been a part of the approval process for residential properties since 1989. The plans are required for all new developments and are approved by the Drainage Services branch, of the Asset Management and Public Works Department on behalf of City Council. Lot Grading Plans include elevations, surface grades, lot type and other information required for grading.

Lot Grading Approval Procedure

The City of Edmonton requires lots in new subdivisions to conform to the approved Surface Drainage Plans (Lot Grading Plans). The Lot Grading Details provided within the guidelines give examples of different lot types and drainage patterns. The Approval Procedure is usually done in two stages. The Rough Grade Stage (clay) is generally the responsibility of the home builder and the Final Grade Stage (topsoil) is generally the responsibility of the homeowner.

Final Grade Stage

The homeowner must initiate this stage within one year of receiving Rough Grade Approval. The rough grade has an allowance of approximately 7 to 20cm of topsoil for the lot. The topsoil should be smoothly spread out and compacted, ready for sod, liners, rocks etc. Note: If rocks, wood chips or other decorative material is planned, the clay base (rough grade) should be raised to final grade before placing the decorative material down. Rock or wood chips do not make up for the 7 to 20cm of final grade, since surface water can flow through the material.

To apply for Final Grade Approval, the homeowner or home builder (where applicable) has the lot re-surveyed on final grade (on topsoil and/or sod) by an Alberta Land Surveyor (ALS), Enginer or Architect who prepares a Lot Grading Certificate. Two original documents of the Lot Grading Certificate are submitted to the Drainage Service branch of the Asset Management and Public Works Department for Approval. The Lot Grading Certificate includes:

  • A legal size scale drawing of the lot and buildings in metric units and refers to geodetic datum.
  • All proposed surface elevations shown on the approved Surface Drainage Plan
  • Existing surface elevations adjacent to the foundation walls
  • Property address, legal description, neighbourhood, application information and north arrow
  • Legend notes, structures (decks, steps or retaining walls) and easements or right-of-ways

Two original documents of the Lot Grading Certificate for Final Grade are sent by the homeowner or home builder (where applicable) to the Drainage Services branch of the Asset Management and Public Works Department for approval. Digital submissions are preferred and paper versions are submitted as they will be scanned. The methods of contact are: fax, e-mail, or mail.

Drainage Services will send a Lot Grading Inspector within 3 working days (depending on workload and weather conditions) to conduct a visual inspection on the lot, to verify that the lot is graded in accordance with the approved Lot Grading Plan. The lot grading inspection fee of 0.00 is paid at the time the building permit is issued, and covers the cost of rough and final grade inspections for single detached and semi-detached (duplex) housing. Inspection fees are outlined in Schedule A of the Surface Drainage Bylaw No. 11501.

A Lot Grading Inspection Report will be sent to the homeowner or home builder (where applicable) indicating that the lot grading has Final Grade Approval or that deficiencies exist. If deficiencies exist, the homeowner or home builder (where applicable) must correct the deficiencies within 60 days and notify Drainage Services for a re-inspection. Please note, if the Final Grade was completed by a Professional Landscaper, the homeowner or home builder (where applicable) is responsible to notifying the Landscaper. Once the Lot Grading Inspector finds that the lot grading is satisfactory, Final Grade Approval is issued.

Notification of Final Grade Approval is issued when the Lot Grading Inspection Report is signed and dated by the Lot Grading Inspector and sent to the homeowner or home builder (where applicable). In addition, the Lot Grading Certificate will be stamped and signed by the Lot Grading Inspector and mailed to the homeowner.

City of Edmonton Lot Grading: (780) 496-5500

Source: The City of Edmonton Asset Management and Public Works: ‘Lot Grading Guidelines.”

February 2008.

For more information visit: www.edmonton.ca