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I had my grading approved, and the neighbour's construction/grading damaged mine. Who is responsible for fixing it?

When a City of Edmonton Lot Grading Inspector completes a Rough or Final Grade Inspection and issues an approval, it verifies that at the time of inspection the property was in compliance with the Drainage Bylaw. From that moment on, as the owner of the property, it is your responsibility to maintain the lot grading in perpetuity regardless of natural settlement or activity caused by yourself or damage by a 3rd party. Property owners must take measures to ensure that others do not trespass and damage grading on your private property. The City of Edmonton DOES NOT enforce or police such actions or determine cause or fault. That would require a civil action suit against the offending party or you as the owner should consult with the offending party and advise of the damage. You may also wish to consult with the Builder's Warranty program if damage by a 3rd party is covered.

How do I get my lot ready for final inspection?

Make sure that your property has received a rough grade approval by the City of Edmonton. Refer to the approved rough grading inspection report for any additional information or conditions prior to proceeding with final grading.

The rough grade should be left 7 to 20 centimetres lower than final grade to allow for topsoil. The topsoil should be smoothly spread out and compacted, ready for sod, rocks or mulch. Ensure that you have good slope (10%) away from all the foundation walls, including areas under decks and steps. Also, the slope along the swales should be smooth and consistent.

How do I apply for Final Grade Approval?

When final grading has been completed on your entire property, call an Alberta Land Surveyor to survey your property and prepare a Final Grade Certificate. An electronic version of the Lot Grading Certificate should be submitted to lot.grading@edmonton.ca; however, paper versions received by fax or mail will be scanned.

The applicant must provide the surveyor with contact information, i.e. fax, email or mail, to receive Lot Grading Inspection Reports and Approvals from the City of Edmonton. If no contact information is specified, the City uses regular mail.

How do I know if my rough grade is approved?

The City will notify the builder and the property owner by mail once rough grade is approved. An approved rough grading inspection report, along with an instruction and information sheet called “lot grading at the final grade stage” will be attached. The builder usually notifies the homeowner as well.

How do I know if my final grade is approved?

The City sends the approved final grading inspection report and the final grade certificate to the applicant by the contact method provided (fax, email or mail). If no contact method has been specified, the information is sent by regular mail to the property owner.

How much topsoil do I need to get to final grade?

Your rough grade has an allowance of approximately 7 to 20 centimetres for topsoil. The topsoil should be smoothly spread out and compacted, ready for sod, rocks, and mulch.

Can I use washed rock, decorative rock, or bark chips to bring the land up to final grade?
No. If you are placing rock mulch or bark mulch, the clay base (rough grade) should be raised to the final grade level before placing any decorative material. The grade should be raised with clay, topsoil, or compacted “road crush” gravel. This is important for side lot swales.
Do I need to book an appointment for an inspection?

No. An appointment is not necessary. The initial inspection takes place automatically on receipt of the Lot Grading Certificate. A re-inspection request can be made by calling 311. If you have a locked gate or loose pets in the yard, the lot grading inspector will require access.

How long does it take to get the property inspected?
It usually takes less than five business days after the City receives a certificate or a re-inspection request. An inspector may visit a site as soon as the next day. This does not include the time that it takes for the survey firm to gather their information and produce the lot grading certificate.
Do I need to be present for the inspection?

No. The lot grading inspection report provides details of corrective actions you must take. You can call 780-496-5576 to discuss items on the report.


Can I meet the Lot Grading Inspector on site?

Yes. However, workload volumes make it difficult for the lot grading inspectors to schedule meetings, since they're usually arranged on short notice. If arranged in advance, the inspector will call a half-hour before arriving on site. You can request a meeting by calling 780-496-5576.

Can I lay down sod before the inspector comes out?

Yes, if you choose. The inspector evaluates the grading whether you have topsoil or sod. However, keep in mind that if you need to make grade corrections, it can be much more complicated when sod is already in place.

Can I plant flowers and flower beds before the inspector comes out?

Raised beds or other flower bed areas should be defined as part of the final grade presentation. We recommend that the planting be delayed until the inspection occurs. 

How do I read the lot grading inspection report?

The report references the date the lot was surveyed, the survey company, the date of the inspection, the status (failed or passed), and the due date.

If deficiencies are identified, the item, instruction and notes describe the problems and the locations. Left, right, front, and rear are determined by facing the house from the street. A copy of the grade certificate is also sent with the inspection report. If you need clarification, please call 780-496-5576, fax 780-496-2865, or email lot.grading@edmonton.ca

How long do I have to fix the deficiencies?

The Drainage Bylaw allows 60 days for deficiency corrections. If an inspection occurs late in the season, the due date for correction is automatically adjusted to the following year.

How do I fix the deficiencies?
You need to adjust the grade levels where indicated on the lot grading inspection report. You can call 780-496-5576 for an explanation, email lot.grading@edmonton.ca, or refer to the lot grading requirements to assist in locating the type and extent of the correction. Some repairs may be as simple as adding some topsoil to a low area, or as complex as removing sod and lowering the soil to repair a high area.
What happens if I have laid down sod and the inspection fails? Do I have to rip up all the sod?

No. If the inspector finds a concern or problem with the final grade, he or she will identify the deficiency and specify the location on the lot grading inspection report. Only the specified location requires improvement.

Is there a charge for lot grading inspections or re-inspections?

Yes. Fees for all lot grading inspections and re-inspections are pre-paid by the homebuilder at the time of building permit application.

I had my grading ready for inspection, and then it rained. Now my grading is damaged/settled. Am I required to fix it?

Yes. Any settlement should be repaired. However, you don't need to reschedule the inspection. The inspector will identify the areas that require your attention. Your grading will not usually fail for minor rain damage, such as erosion channels at the downspout locations. However, any 3rd party damage must be corrected in advance of the re-inspection.

I live on a lake lot, is there anything that I should know?

Most properties located on stormwater management lakes have a right-of-way, an easement or a restrictive covenant, registered in favour of the City of Edmonton. Easement information can be obtained by contacting Alberta Land Titles. There are restrictions in these areas that you should review prior to planning your final grade.

When applying for final grade approval, the lot grading certificate must display the location and elevation of any features constructed in the restricted area. These features include decks, fire pits, ponds, paths, bridges, retaining walls, buildings, raised gardens or grade alterations.

EPCOR's Stormwater Management Lakes page provides examples of requirements.

 

I live on a lake lot and would like to build a retaining wall. Are there any restrictions or requirements?

Yes. Lake Lots have grading restrictions registered on the lot title. Any caveat or covenant information can be obtained by contacting Alberta Land Titles.

Retaining walls that exceed 0.60 metres in height or that are attached to a house must be constructed to an engineered design and may require a development permit. Call 311 to contact the Sustainable Development department for information. Many restrictive covenants prohibit structures greater than 1 metre above the design grade. The grading and drainage must conform to the lot grading plan. Retaining walls should be constructed within your own property and must facilitate surface drainage.

How early or late in the season does the City of Edmonton do lot grading inspections?

Inspections depend on weather conditions. Inspectors will do lot grading inspections as long as they can see the ground. Normally, ideal inspection conditions occur between May and October.

How do I request a re-inspection?

Call 311. Give the agent your contact information. You can also fax a request to 780-496-2865, or email a request to lot.grading@edmonton.ca.

How do I get my landscaping deposit back?

Contact your homebuilder or developer.

For More Information

Drainage Planning and Engineering

2nd Floor, Edmonton Tower
10111 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB

T5J 0J4

Telephone

311 or 780-496-5576

Fax 780-496-2865
Email lot.grading@edmonton.ca

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