Lot Grading Information

The City will be accepting Final Grade Certificates starting May 15th every year.

The lot grading fee is $160.00. Full payment is required with submission of your final grade certificate.

Final grade certifiates can be submitted via the following:

For more information on the City of Leduc's lot grading process, please review our lot grading brochure, engineering design standards, and frequently asked questions.

If you have any questions or require assistance through the lot grading process, please contact 780-980-7124 or planning@leduc.ca for support.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Lot Grading important?

Lot Grading is important to protect your home from water damage and to convey water off your lot.

What am I responsible for as a property owner?

It is up to the homeowner to inspect and approve the rough grade when it is completed by the builder; if there are any areas of concern the homeowner should contact the builder to have them repaired prior to moving forward with final grade landscaping.

When hiring private contractors for landscaping or yard alternation, ensure they respect the intended drainage design when carrying out work. They should review the rough grade certificate, if provided by the builder, or the grading plan, which indicates the design grade elevations. This will reduce additional costs and stress that stems from improper lot grading.

The homeowner is responsible to ensure that lot grade elevations established by the original grading plan are maintained to continue to provide effective site drainage throughout the years:

  • Where maintenance of a common drainage path at the property line is required, the responsibility for maintenance lies with the owners of both sites.
  • Where a drainage swale is established within an easement/right-of-way on a site, swale grades shall be maintained and the swale shall be kept free from any obstructions by the owner of the site.
  • Areas that were excavated or trenched to provide underground services will settle over a number of years and these areas will need to be filled to maintain positive drainage and prevent pooling of water that could cause damage to the building and services.

Does the City review or approve Rough Grade Certificates?

The City of Leduc does not review or approve Rough Grade Certificates. The builder should complete the rough grade/clay grade to approximately 10 to 20 cm below the design grade to allow for topsoil and other final grade materials. The builder and the homeowner should discuss the rough grade needs relative to the finished grade material proposed. It is up to the property owner to approve the rough grade when it is completed by the builder; if there are any areas of concern the homeowner should contact the builder to have them repaired prior to moving forward with final grade landscaping.

Although not a requirement, the builder will sometimes provide a rough grade certificate to show the results of the clay grade elevations.

The City will only be involved in rough grade in the event of a dispute between the builder and owner.

How do I get my lot ready for final grade inspection?

Final grade must be completed within 5 cm of the design grade and provide effective drainage at the property line, and drainage away from the building foundation (2.0 m at 10% minimum slope away from building). The grade between elevation points must be constant.

As per the City of Leduc Land Use Bylaw 809-2013, prior to the submission of a Lot Grading Certificate, the property owner shall conduct a review of the site and ensure the site grading effectively conveys drainage to the municipal drainage system and does not negatively impact adjacent sites.

How do I ensure design elevations are met when laying final grade materials?

There are design elevations, generally at four points along the property line. Front corner, back corner, front mid-point, and back mid-point. The final grade on topsoil must be no lower than 5 cm below the design elevation points to allow for sod. The grade between elevation points must be constant. Using a string line between elevation points will help visualize the high and low spots when placing finishing materials.  With the string set at the elevation points on your grade stakes, you can use a 2 x 4 wood block as a gauge and slide it under the string to level out your topsoil. The depth of the block is about 4 cm, therefore your topsoil will be at about 4 cm below grade to allow for placement of sod.

Never assume that the grading of the adjacent property is correct.

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 within 5 cm of final grade before placing any decorative material. The grade should be raised with a non-porous material such as clay, topsoil, or compacted “road crush” gravel. This is particularly important for side lot swales.

How do I apply for Final Grade Approval?

When a final grading has been completed on your entire property call an Alberta Land Surveyor to survey your property and prepare a Final Grade Certificate. The Final Grade Certificate can be submitted to planning@leduc.ca or mailed to/dropped off at the Civic Centre (City of Leduc, Planning and Development Department, 1 Alexandra Park, Leduc, AB, T9E 4C4).

The Final Grade Certificate Review Fee for single and multi-family properties is payable upon submission of the Final Grade Certificate.

The City will review the Lot Grading Certificate and complete a site inspection for substantial compliance with the design grades.

Why does the City require an Alberta Land Surveyor be used to prepare the Lot Grading Certificate?

As per the City of Leduc Land Use Bylaw 809-2013, Final Grade Certificates must be prepared by an Alberta Land Surveyor.  Design grades in subdivisions are done from the property lines, and under the Land Surveyors Act only surveyors are allowed to establish the location of a property line.

How do I read my Lot Grading Certificate?

Design grades at specific locations for each lot are determined through a Lot Grading Plan. The Lot Grading Certificate shows the design grades in brackets and the as-built elevations at the same locations below.

For Rough Grade, the grades are typically acceptable if constructed between 10 to 20 cm below the final design grade. Note: The City of Leduc does not review or approve Rough Grade Certificates. It is up to the property owner to approve the rough grade when it is completed by the builder; if there are any areas of concern the homeowner should contact the builder to have them repaired prior to moving forward with final grade landscaping.

Example Rough Grade Certificate

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For Final Grade, the grades are typically acceptable if constructed within 5 cm of the final design grade. Note: It is up to the property owner to conduct a review of the site and ensure the site grading effectively conveys drainage to the municipal drainage system and does not negatively impact adjacent sites prior to submitting the certificate to the City for review.

Example Final Grade Certificate

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The Lot Grading Inspector has the discretion to accept elevations that are not within tolerance when:

  • The lot is graded to match an existing walkway, lake, park, curb, sidewalk, road or lane and a positive drainage is maintained. In addition to design grade, and existing grade the back of walk (b.o.c.) and top of curb (t.o.c.) are also often shown on a grading certificate.
  • The lot is graded to match an adjacent property and has positive on-site surface drainage with also works with adjacent properties.

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 and payment. If there are deficient items noted, an email identifying the deficiencies and the process for further review when rectified will be sent to the email address that is provided at the time of submission.

Can I lay sod before my lot grading inspection is complete?

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

What is the c/c valve/water valve and why is raising this to be visible and accessible at surface level part of my final grade inspection?

The water valve, otherwise known as the c/c valve, should be raised to be visible and accessible at surface level for easy access in the event that an emergency water shut off is required. The valve often ends up being buried under rough or final grade materials during the landscaping process. The valve top slides up and down, a large pipe over a smaller pipe. If you require assistance to locate the valve top or raise it, please contact your builder.

I have a utility box at the front of my property on the property line; what should I do to ensure the utility box is not blocking drainage at the property line?

It is recommended that a trough or “saddle like” swale is built around the utility box (i.e. elevate the grade at the back of the utility box to facilitate drainage around and away).

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.

What are the consequences if I don’t submit a final lot grading certificate for review by the City and resolve any potentially noted deficiencies?

You may experience delays in house transactions or drainage disputes with your neighbors.

When does Lot Grading Season start and end?

Inspections depend on weather conditions. Lot grading inspections will typically be conducted between May 15th and October 15th pending the inspector can see the ground. No new final grade certificates will be accepted after October 15th.

What is typical turnaround time for lot grading inspections?

Inspections can typically be completed in 5 business days, however this weather pending and could be longer in particularly busy times. This does not however, include the time that it takes a survey firm to gather their information and produce a lot grading certificate. Should delays occur the Inspector will conduct the inspection no later than three weeks from receiving the certificate.

How do I know if my lot substantially complies?

If the grading substantially complies the City will sign off on the Certificate, indicating their review, and provide a copy to the applicant by the contact method provided on the certificate. If there are deficient items noted, an email identifying the deficiencies and the process for further review when resolved, will be sent to the email address provided at the time of submission.

How do I get my landscaping deposit back?

Contact your homebuilder or developer.