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Residential lot grading

Lot Grading Permit

You must obtain a Lot Grading Permit before:

  • building any new structures (a house or large addition), or
  • proceeding with any lot grading changes that may alter the existing drainage patterns.

You should apply for a lot grading permit at least 5 working days before you start the work.

To apply for lot grading permits, contact the Planning, Property and Development Department, Zoning and Permits Branch.


Lot Grading Plan

The plan must:

  1. be prepared by a professional engineer, Manitoba Land Surveyor, landscape architect or architect as required in the Lot Grading By-law,
  2. include the following details:
    1. civic address and legal description of the property
    2. drawing scale no less than 1:500 (metric)
    3. north arrow
    4. project location with reference to adjoining streets (street names) or dimensions to street corners at mid-block locations
    5. legal dimensions of all property lines
    6. building location and distances to other buildings, property lines, driveways, etc.,
    7. distances to flood line if development is located within flood fringe area. Indicate flood protection level (FPL) if development is located within flood fringe area. We will provide minimum FPL elevation.
      • for properties subject to a waterways permit, the proposed ground elevations and lot grade design must meet the conditions of the waterways permit
    8. existing and proposed geodetic lot grade elevations (in metric) both on the site and on adjacent property, public right-of-ways or easements, including:
      • proposed ground elevation at the house and at corners of the building
      • garage floor elevation and proposed driveway slope
      • location of any retaining walls required in order to manage surface water within the property
      • any other elevations that may affect the lot grading (e.g., walk-outs, window wells)
    9. drainage patterns indicated by flow arrows and slopes described in percentages
    10. location of roof drain downspouts, downspout extensions, and sump pump discharge outlets:
      • downspout extensions should not direct surface water onto adjacent property and should be angled in the same direction as the lot grading pattern
      • for corner lots, and those flanking a public sidewalk or walkway, the sump pump discharge outlet must be constructed at the back of the house or the side of the house not adjacent to the street, sidewalk or walkway
  3. include site-servicing information indicating the following:
    1. size and location of existing and proposed sewer and water service connections, including the connection details (e.g., connection type, invert elevations, percent slope) to the common mains
      • for those properties serviced by an onsite wastewater management system or a private well system, please contact Manitoba Conservation at 204-945-7100
    2. size and location of any existing sewer and water service connections proposed for reuse or abandonment
    3. size, location (alignment), and material type of sewer and water mains and other underground utilities in the public right-of-ways or easements

Special lot grading design consideration will be given to:

  • rural properties 5 acres and larger,
  • properties adjacent to undeveloped or closed street or lane right-of-ways, and
  • properties that cannot meet the intent of the Lot Grading By-law

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Lot grading requirements / considerations
  1. Perching around foundation
    Grade and landscape the property to achieve a perching of soil around the perimeter of a structure to allow water to drain away.
  2. Lot line grading
    Grade each lot to allow surface water to drain along the lot line without ponding.
  3. Roof downspouts and downspout extensions
    Place downspouts and extensions to allow water to drain away from the structure.
  4. Sump pump hose
    Place the sump pump hose so that the water from the sump pump discharge drains away from the structure.
  5. Wastewater sewer connection
    When constructing a new house, establish lot grade elevations to ensure that the private sewer service pipe from the structure meets the requirements of our Sewer By-Law.
  6. Driveway
    Construct the driveway within a lot so that it will not block the surface water, either away from the structure or from the rear yard in "back to front" lot grading.
  7. Garages
    Construct the garage (attached or detached) so that it will not block the surface water from the side or rear of the lot, or adjacent lots.

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Rough grading

After you, your builder, or other professional have obtained a lot grade permit, the rough grading (also called substantial grading), must be completed within 12 months.

Rough grading includes:

  • backfilling around the foundation and “perching” of the backfill material to ensure that there is positive slope away from the foundation (exclusive of topsoil and sod),
  • grading of any swales,
  • construction of any retaining walls,
  • and grading the lot to conform to the design of the approved Lot Grade Plan.

Rough grading is typically about 100 mm (4 inches) below finished grade in order to allow for placement of topsoil and sod, or any other decorative landscaping material.

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Lot grade certification

The rough grading must be certified by a qualified surveyor (either a professional engineer or Manitoba Land Surveyor). The building permit applicant (who is generally the builder) is responsible to hire the surveyor and make arrangements for lot grade certification.

To ensure that the lot meets the requirements of the Lot Grade Permit and the Lot Grading By-law, the surveyor will:

  • measure the lot grade elevation of the structure and all related lot grade elevations including elevations at all lot corners, high points or changes in slope, swales and retaining walls (if applicable) and any other elevations on the permit.
  • inspect the placement of all sump pump hoses and downspout extensions.

"Surveyor" means a person who has received a commission to practice as a surveyor of lands and is registered under the Manitoba Land Surveyors Act or a person who is a Professional Engineer licensed to practice in the Province of Manitoba.

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Final Grading and Landscaping

As the homeowner, it is your responsibility to:

  • request a copy of the signed lot grade certificate/deposit refund form from your builder. (Once you have confirmation that your lot grading has been certified, you can proceed with your finished landscaping. The City does not have to provide any inspections before you complete this work.)
  • complete the final grading and placement of topsoil and sod (check the contract between you and your builder to confirm who is responsible for this part of the work).
  • maintain the lot grades established by the Lot Grade Plan.

If you have any questions regarding the substantial grading of your property, either contact your builder (unless you were the building permit applicant) or the surveyor who provided the lot grade certification.

If your property has been recently certified and you have questions about your grading or are having some drainage problems, contact your builder or surveyor.

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Fees and deposits (residential property)
  • Lot grading permit fee per lot: $160.00
  • Lot grading deposit per lot: $1,060.00

We will:

  • keep the lot grading deposit until the surveyor certifies (Lot Grading Certification) that lot grading has been completed as required by the Lot Grading By-law.
  • process your refund for the lot grade deposit when we receive your:
    • completed lot grade deposit refund form (available at 311), and
    • signed Lot Grade Certification.

If you have any other questions, contact 311.

Last updated: December 30, 2016