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Can You D g It? How to earn an 'A' in land grading and avoid landslides, flooding By John Kanaskie

Fill may not be placed on a vegetated hillside.

So you want to make your yard a little more level. Wouldn’t it be great to add fill or dig into a hillside to extend your yard? Break out the shovels! It’s only dirt, right? Back up that Bobcat! Before you alter any grading on your property, there are several things you should know. This spring, our region experienced an increase in landslides and ponding water due to a large amount of rainfall. It is imperative that homeowners don’t do anything to increase the likelihood of a landslide or flooding, which could cause serious damage to one’s own home or a neighbor’s property and even lead to an occupancy permit being revoked. South Fayette Township has laws that address land grading. Here are highlights homeowners should know:

The slope of a hillside must be maintained at one vertical unit for every three horizontal units. Grading cannot alter stormwater channels, ditches or swales and cannot divert the flow of water to adjacent properties. A separate grading permit is required for each individual property even if the grading spans multiple properties. The permit application must be accompanied by plans and specifications that are prepared, signed and sealed by a professional engineer.

Steps to stabilizing your hillside

Measures must be taken to ensure that water runoff during grading operations does not impact local waterways.

Plant trees, grass and shrubs.

Exposed soil must be seeded immediately after grading, or if the exposed soil will be undisturbed for more than four days.

Build retaining walls. Improve drainage. Add mulch or rocks.

Use safe, legal grading practices on your property to avoid a landslide like this.

Use mulch mats to hold vegetation in place.

Brush Up

SouthFayettePA.com

To view the complete grading ordinance, see Chapter 163 of the Township Code at www.southfayettepa.com/code. For the grading permit application, go to www.southfayettepa.com/building. To avoid damage to underground utilities, dial 8-1-1 before you dig. John Kanaskie is Engineer Technician for South Fayette Township.

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Makenna Artman, 4, learns about shapes while creating art at the South Fayette Township Library in April. (Photo by Andrea Iglar) 8|

Fill must be properly compacted.

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South Fayette Connect - Summer 2018 - Volume 3, Issue 2  

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