Changing the Grading on Your Property
Any time you remove or add soil to your property you potentially are making a grading change. Changes in grading can occur as a result of installing a fence, a retaining wall, an in-ground or above-ground pool, a paver or concrete patio, sport court, as well as, performing any other new construction or making additions to existing structures. Unless you are applying for a Pool Permit, you need to obtain a Grading and Clearing Permit from the Engineering Division any time you perform a grading change.
Prior to actually disturbing or bringing in soil, you need to file a Grading and Clearing Permit Application. This application is available from the Engineering Division and is also available in the Forms, Licenses and Permits section of the Home Page listed as Grading and Clearing. There is a fee of $100 minimum plus $100 per disturbed land area over 1000 square feet (10’ x 100’ equivalent area) required with the application. You should attach to the application a survey of the property with the affected areas outlined and a topographic map showing existing and proposed contours. If there are no adverse effects to either your property or your neighbor's property, and no restrictions on the property, such as: easements, wetlands, stream encroachment and/or other, your request will be approved. If you are grading land in conjunction with the installation of a pool, then you do not need to obtain a separate Grading Permit as long as you supply a grading plan with your Pool Permit application that you file with the Zoning Division. However, you are still required to fill out a Clearing (Tree Removal) permit in order to remove trees for the installation of a pool.
All proposed changes to the land must be in compliance with Township Ordinances. The minimum slope for lawns is 3/4% (a one foot vertical change for every 133 feet horizontally). The maximum slope is 10% for areas within five feet of a building (a 6-inch vertical drop is allowed within five feet.) The maximum slope for lawns further than 5 feet from a building is 25% (a one foot vertical change for every 4 feet horizontally). In addition, you may not raise the elevation of any point within five feet of a property line, and furthermore, in the cases where a swimming pool or sport court is being constructed, you may not raise any point within 15 feet of a property line by an amount of three feet or more. Each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.