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Lot grading bylaw

The Lot Grading Bylaw ensures all new residential or commercial buildings have a properly graded lot with surface water drainage directed away from buildings. As a builder, you are responsible for fulfilling the requirements of this bylaw.

This bylaw works with the Drainage Bylaw and Community Standards Bylaw to regulate Calgary's stormwater system by requiring that both the public and industry manage drainage and water quality.

For a detailed lot grading tolerance chart, including information on grade slip and minimum grades, please view our Lot Grading Tolerance Guidelines.

Why is lot grading important?

A properly graded lot ensures that surface drainage flows away from buildings. This avoids potential flooding problems and potential damage to neighboring properties. Improper lot grading can result in ponding, basement dampness, flooding and other water problems.

For more details, please view our Lot Grading Brochure or Lot Grading Bylaw Details. You can also find more details about drainage regulations at our Drainage Bylaw page.

What does the Bylaw mean for builders and contractors?

The bylaw affects the construction of a duplex, semi-detached or single-detached dwelling; a multifamily development; and any building on a commercial or industrial site in Calgary.

Builders must supply an As Constructed Grade Certificate at the end of construction, confirming the surface elevation and grades of the land are within the lot grading tolerance guidelines set by City of Calgary Water Services in conjunction with the UDI and CRHBA. Certificates must be signed by a professional land surveyor, engineer or architect.

When you apply for a Building Permit, the appropriate fees will be added to your application. After you complete construction, submit the As-built Plot Plan and the As Constructed Grade Certificate to Water Services. This completes the builder's obligation.

How much does a Lot Grading Permit Cost?



Lot Grading Permit – duplex, semi-detached
or single-detached dwelling and multi-family
housing developments of less than 10 units
$20 per ground
floor dwelling unit
Lot Grading Permit – multi-family housing
development consisting of 10 or more units,
up to and including three storeys
$100 + $10 per
ground floor unit
Lot Grading Permit – apartment building
(greater than three storeys), commercial and
industrial development
$80 per hectare
(minimum $80)
Non-refundable application fee for Filing

How do I get an As Constructed Grade Certificate?

An As Constructed Grade Certificate is available from a professional land surveyor, professional engineer or architect. View examples of theSample Lot Drainage Plan and Lot Grading Certification Form.

Duplex, semi-detached or single-detached dwelling
A builder must submit an As Constructed Grade Certificate to The City within 12 months of the date of Permission to Occupy as issued by the City. Buyers should note that Permission to Occupy may differ from Possession Date agreed to by the Builder.

Multi-family housing development or single building on commercial site
A builder must submit a certificate within 12 months after an Occupancy Permit is issued.

More than one building on a multi-family housing or commercial site
A builder must submit a certificate within 12 months of the last Permission to Occupy. This applies only if construction has not begun on a subsequent building on that parcel of land within that period of time.

What happens if builders don't comply with the Bylaw?

Builders who fail to submit their As Constructed Grade Certificates on time and who have not applied for an extension can be fined up to $10,000. Failure to pay the fine could result in up to six months in jail. These penalties are standard for a City of Calgary bylaw.

Where do I go for more information and sample forms?

Please contact Water Services at the information below:

City of Calgary Water Services
Development Approval
P.O. Box 2100, Station M #409, Calgary, AB
T2P 2M5
Telephone: 311