Clearing of undeveloped vacant land

Clearing of undeveloped, vacant land may not be conducted unless the clearing is done in association with:

  • An approved building permit (clearing plan approved with building permit, preserve area management plan (PAMP) may be required)
  • An agricultural use (clearing permit required, PAMP may be required)
  • The removal of only exotic vegetation (permit required if using equipment)

Land Clearing Procedures for Building Permits

Land clearing associated with a building permit will be processed with your building permit application. Land clearing shall not start until after the building permit is issued.

  • Land clearing associated with a building permit does not require a separate land clearing application or permit. A Land Clearing Plan must be submitted with your building permit application documents and will be reviewed in conjunction with the review of your building permit. 
  • View the Land Clearing Plan Checklist to ensure proper documentation is submitted on your Land Clearing Plan.

To apply for a building permit, please select the "Apply Online Now" button below to access the county's Accela Citizen Access (ACA) land management system and begin the building permitting process.

The building permit will not be issued until the Land Clearing Plan is approved and electronically stamped, or the property is found to be exempt from a land clearing authorization. A copy of this stamped and approved plan will be available electronically through the county’s land management system with your building permit.

Other Land Clearing Permits & Authorizations

The Growth Management Department accepts land clearing applications for exotic vegetation removal or agricultural clearing (properties with an agricultural land use designation: Agriculture, Ag‐Ranchette).

  • A permit is required to remove exotic vegetation with machinery or motorized vehicles on undeveloped land.
  • The removal of exotic vegetation using hand-held tools (e.g., chain saws) does not require a permit.
  • Direct removal of exotic vegetation from wetlands or wetland buffers shall not occur except in compliance with an approved preserve area management plan.

An agricultural land clearing permit shall be required for the removal of native vegetation and the conversion of native habitat to agricultural production on land with an agricultural future land use designation. For agricultural purposes, no land clearing shall begin until an environmental assessment and a PAMP, if applicable, have been submitted and approved.

  • Direct removal of exotic vegetation from wetlands or wetland buffers shall not occur except in compliance with an approved preserve area management plan (PAMP).
  • Where the removal of exotic vegetation from the upland or wetland preserve areas of a site is proposed, such activity shall be conducted pursuant to the procedures provided for in an approved PAMP.

Land clearing associated with residential subdivisions and commercial developments is approved through the Development Review process. Proposed/approved developments can be viewed in the Proposed Development Map

To apply for an exotic vegetation removal permit or an agricultural land clearing permit, please access our online permit system via the button below. A paper application may be provided upon request.

If you have any additional questions about the online permitting process for land clearing applications, or if at any time you need assistance during the application process, please contact us.