Clearing Site Development – Regulations and Permits You Must Be Aware of

Clearing is an essential step in construction site development that involves removing trees, brush, and debris. It creates a safe working environment and makes it easier for contractors to excavate and lay foundations.

It is also the first step in getting a building permit. But before you get to the clearing, there are several things you should be aware of.

Zoning Regulations

The zoning regulations that must be followed when clearing site development Lexington SC is underway depend on the work being done. For example, some projects require a land use permit, while a building permit must accompany others. You’ll want to visit the various department web pages (shown in purple on the bar above) to determine your necessary permits.

You must also submit a Clearing and Grading Plan with your permit application. The plan must include erosion and sediment control facilities, a soil survey, and water quality monitoring locations. These will help ensure that the clearing and grading activities do not cause landslides, accelerated soil creep, or flood damage within or outside the project limits.

The plan must also provide the location of the mobilization area and stockpiles, which are the areas where soil will be temporarily removed from the construction site. The contractor must ensure that the stockpiles are inspected and maintained daily to prevent soil from spilling onto public right-of-way or roads.

Environmental Regulations

If you are conducting clearing or construction work on your property that will disturb more than one acre of land, you must submit a precise cutting or grading permit application. Your application will need to include a detailed site engineering plan with the following:

The site engineering plan must show the proposed structures, paving, grade changes, and stormwater management. It must also identify the locations of critical or sensitive areas, buffers, native growth protection easements, and tree retention zones. It must also contain a clear contaminant control plan (CCP), which includes a narrative, drawings, and turbidity and pH monitoring plans.

The CCP must describe the best management practices (BMPs) to prevent pollutants from being released into the environment. The BMPs must be based on the soil conditions and water quality requirements of the area where the disturbance will occur. They must also be consistent with the requirements of FDEP’s NPDES program. Slash and log storage areas should be located away from critical or sensitive areas, and the materials must be removed within a year of clearing activities.


Generally, a clearing and grading permit is required for any earth disturbance or construction work. During the application process, City staff will review your plans to ensure compliance with regulations on drainage (stormwater management), critical areas, flood plain, subdivision of land, and right-of-way requirements.

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN (Applicable to All Projects)

An area map was identifying the project site and surrounding properties. Include a topographic survey showing the soil and vegetation (including common or botanical names and calipers). Also indicate the locations of all utilities on or near the construction site, including sanitary sewer, storm sewer, potable water, fiber lines/facilities, wells, and other facilities.

If needed, the erosion and sediment control plan should describe the construction methods and mitigation measures. Depending on the site’s location, soil conditions, and proximity to receiving waters, a turbidity and pH monitoring plan may be necessary. The monitoring plan should identify the monitoring locations, frequency, and duration of testing. Also, it should describe the ESC facilities for storing or disposing of contaminated materials.


Site clearing comes with numerous hazards that teams should always be aware of. Many risks must be managed or reduced, from toxic fumes produced by equipment to back issues from vibrations. Good site-clearing etiquette should also be followed to ensure the longevity and success of the project as well as for the safety of workers.

Dust shall be minimized during clearing activities by applying generally accepted dust suppressants. Although commonly used to control dust, water is only a preferred method of dust control if it cannot be used to keep sediment out of stormwater and groundwater.

Before starting any land development work on a property, a clearing permit must be obtained from the City of Jacksonville. It must be submitted with a site map, grading plan, and tree protection plan. It will ensure permits are actioned quickly and work can commence.