Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV — Grading and digging season for permitted projects at Lake Tahoe started May 1 and will remain open through October 15. Grading projects are confined to drier months to protect Lake Tahoe’s water quality from sources of erosion and sediment that have been tied to decreases in its famed clarity.

Activities that disturb soil are limited seasonally because that’s historically when most of the Tahoe Region’s precipitation occurs.  Working in dry conditions prevents loose soil and mud from washing away from project sites and into streams and ultimately Lake Tahoe.

In keeping with COVID-19 orders and guidelines, TRPA has shifted mostly to online services including pre-grading inspection requests: Due to the pandemic and changing public health orders, inspections may be postponed, or inspectors may conduct a technology-based inspection using virtual meetings, telephone, and photo submittals.

Not all digging requires a permit. Homeowners can move up to three cubic yards of soil if the site is stabilized to prevent erosion. Projects that don’t require a permit include:

  • Residential home landscaping and gardening projects
  • Irrigation installation
  • Exempt residential fences up to 6 feet in height
  • Spring cleaning of permanent BMPs (Best Management Practices)

Projects that create or relocate land coverage require a TRPA permit. For more information about protecting Lake Tahoe’s water quality, visit

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, contact Jeff Cowen, Public Information Officer, at 775-589-5278.