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– Blend new Improvements into the site.
– Preserve natural drainage patterns and retain stormwater on-site if possible.
– Retain the character of the site’s natural topography and existing vegetation.

Grading and Drainage Improvements are to focus on minimizing impacts to the site and landscape, reducing water quality impacts, minimizing removal of existing forest, preserving existing rock outcroppings and promoting the use of natural drainage systems within the Homesite.

A professional Engineer of Landscape Architect registered in the State of Washington is to prepare a full set of drawings including grading, utility locations, re-vegetation and sedimentation and erosion control plans for all new construction.  Please refer to Section 6.15 for grading and erosion control measures required during construction.

The following standards are to be intergraded into all grading plans for Suncadia:


  • To the extent possible, the long axis of the building is to run parallel to the existing contours in order to minimize site disturbance and tree removal. Where feasible, building foundations and main floors are to step with the existing topography as it rises and falls to create split floor levels rather than one flat building pad.  While it is required that building masses follow natural contours, nothing in these Guidelines shall prohibit a single floor level provided that the building height, massing, and grading guidelines are met.
  • Whenever feasible, natural slopes are to be used rather than retaining structures.  When, in the opinion of the DRC, retaining structures provide the only feasible solution, they are to comply with the guidelines outlined in Section 2.5.
  • All cuts, fills and retaining walls are to create smooth transitions at the top and bottom of slopes that appear as extensions of the natural landform.  Grading designs are to protect and retain as many existing trees, shrubs and rock outcropping as possible.
  • Slopes are not to exceed 2:1 unless it can be demonstrated that a steeper slope will not eroded. Natural slopes are to be used instead of structures wherever feasible.
  • Grading may not exceed outside of the Improvement Envelope with the exception of that associated with the driveways, minor paths, and utility Improvements.  In rare cases, the DRC may approve small extensions of landscape terraces and /or grading outside of the Improvement Envelope if it achieves a more natural-looking solution and/or enhances site design and compatibility.
  • Cut and fill slopes are to be re-vegetated with plantings appropriate to the site to blend them into the surrounding environment.  Re-vegetation is to be completed as soon as possible and erosion control measures implemented upon completion of grading.  Refer to the appropriate section of Appendix B for the approved erosion control seed mix.
  • Cut and fill quantities are to balance on the site to the extent feasible.
  • Fill may not be used to significantly raise the first-floor elevation.