We restrict development in environmentally critical areas (ECAs) and areas around ECAs called buffers. Examples of ECAs include landslide-prone areas, wetlands, land next to rivers and streams (riparian corridors), and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas.
A small project waiver allows you to do some ground disturbance for new small structures or additions to existing structures in ECAs and ECA buffers. Our waiver limits ground disturbance to:
These limits on the disturbance area include the excavation area needed for construction as well as the area of the proposed structure, including any eaves and overhangs. You must include any development since October 31, 1992 in the ground disturbance calculation for your proposed project. Once you reach the square footage maximum, you can’t develop in the ECA or buffer through the small project waiver process.
You can’t get a small project waiver for:
You must meet these criteria to qualify for a small project waiver:
Note: In landslide-prone areas, we may require a geotechnical report showing it is safe to build on your site.
Fees for most small project waivers are based on our hourly review rate.
When you submit your permit application, let us know if you are applying for a small project waiver. We determine if you qualify during the permit application review.