Erosion and Sedimentation Control

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One way the Town preserves and protects our environment is by controlling subdivision and shopping center construction sediment and erosion. This Erosion Control and Sedimentation presentation describes how we keep sediment on project sites and out of our waterways.

Prior to beginning land disturbing activities as defined by Section 3.13 of the Town’s Land Development Ordinance within the Town of Cary, a grading permit must be obtained. Any required state and/or federal permits must be obtained prior to obtaining a grading permit. In order to issue the permit, a construction package including the following information must be submitted. The permit fee is NOT due upon application; the permit fee is due upon permit issuance. The fee is $500 per denuded acre.

  • Approved Sedimentation & Erosion Control Plans (3 copies)
  • Financial Responsibility Form
  • Certificate of Insurance (for Grading Contractor)

Obtaining a Grading Permit
The Water Resources Department issues grading permits and inspects sites. A land-disturbing permit is required on any privately funded, non-agricultural project with a disturbed area greater than 12,000 square feet (See Land Development Ordinance for more details). A sedimentation and erosion control plan is required when the disturbed area exceeds 12,000 square feet or a building permit request for a single family homesite with more than one acre of disturbed land. Other land disturbing activities are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Plan Review
The sedimentation and erosion control plan review process shall be conducted in conjunction with your subdivision and/or site plan review process. The Planning and Development Services Department forwards plans to this office for sedimentation and erosion control plan reviews. 

The plan review process will run concurrently with your planning review. Any changes required by the planning process should be reflected on your erosion control and stormwater plans and should be resubmitted to this office as a plan addendum. For information regarding the watershed protection requirements for your site and rules regarding these, please see Watershed Protection and Urban Transition Buffers.

Notice of Plan Approval
  • Upon plan approval, the Planning and Development Services Department will send a Letter of Notification (LON) explaining what the applicant needs to do to obtain a grading permit.
  • The Water Resources Department will contact the grading permit applicant to set up a pre-construction conference.
  • The grading permit fee of $500 per denuded acre is due upon issuance of the grading permit.
When are plans not approved?

The department may deny the application for any of the following reasons:

  • The applicant has failed to comply with state or local ordinances adopted pursuant to the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act (NC SPCA);
  • The applicant is conducting or has conducted land-disturbing activity without an approved permit, or has received a notice of violation for a permit previously approved by the N.C. Sediment Control Commission (NC SCC), the Town, or another local government and has not complied with the notice within the specified time;
  • The applicant has failed to pay a civil penalty assessed pursuant to the NC SPCA or local ordinance for failure to comply with the applicable sediment and erosion control requirements;
  • The applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor pursuant to GS 113A-64(b) or any similar provision of the local ordinance for failure to comply with the applicable sediment and erosion control requirements;
Tracking Your Plan
  • All projects are assigned a Town of Cary project number by the Planning and Development Services Department.
  • Please refer to it in any written or verbal inquiries regarding your project.

Early Grading Permit (Policy 66)
An early grading permit may be applied for once a project has been through at least two reviews of a submitted site plan and the erosion control comments have been addressed. A letter of justification must be submitted along with the grading permit application. The letter must provide justification for needing an early grading permit and acknowledge that the responsible party will comply with any site plan changes made as part of final project approval.

Guidance Document for Policy 66

Erosion Control Plan Checklist
Frequently Asked Questions about Erosion Control
Standard Specifications for Storm Drainage
Standard Detail Drawings for Stormwater
Urban Transition Buffers
Watershed Protection

Matt Flynn
Stormwater Field Services Administrator
(919) 469-4347