Today we hired a Civil Engineer and a Landscape Designer/Coastal Resource Specialist!

I don’t know if you guys have been reading in the news paper about construction slowing down and such…well I can’t say I see that here in Southern California. We are at the point where we need to hire a Civil Engineer to put a grading plan together for our site and it has taken us weeks to even get call backs from a lot of these people. Upon receiving a call back from one company, I was told that it would be 2-3 months before they would be able to start on any work!!

For those that don’t know what a Civil Engineer does…It’s my understanding that it’s their job to put a grading and drainage plan together for the home site that meets the counties requirements. This plan basically lets the county know how much dirt is going to be removed, pushed around or added to the building site to create a proper building pad. It also entails designing a drainage and erosion control system so that water flows through the property in a way that will minimize any possibility of structure or property damage to our property or those surrounding it.

Steve also pointed out to me:

“Grading plans are also what the grading contractors bids and what the winning contractor follows. If changes are made in the field by the grader for any reason (ease of construction being the usual reason), the changes are also supposed to be depicted on the plans and re-approved by the project engineer, the plan check engineer and geotechnical consultants as well.”


After a few more calls this week I was able to find a Civil Engineer that came highly recommended and had the time to fit us into his schedule. When I talked to him he was very enthusiastic about the project and seemed like a genuinely nice guy…great…I can’t wait to get started!

Due to the fact that we are in an area governed by the California Coastal Commission, we also need to hire a Landscape Designer to prepare a “Conceptual Landscape and Fuel Modification Plan”. Because we are in an area that is covered with environmentally sensitive habitat (ESHA) we have restrictions on the natural vegetation that we are allowed to remove during the building process…as well as what kind of vegetation we are allowed to put back in. On top of the environmental restrictions…that whole area of Malibu and the Santa Monica mountains is a fire hazard area, so the landscape plan has to be approved by the Coastal Commission as well as the Fire Dept.

The Landscape Designer/Coastal Resource Specialist that we hired has a particular expertise in this part of Los Angeles County and when you are dealing with entities like the California Coastal Commission and the Fire Department for environmental and fire safety issues it pays to hire the best.

Once we have the completed grading, landscape and fuel mod plans we will be ready to put those in a package with our already approved Los Angeles County Regional Planning stamped house plans and our soon to be Health Department approved septic system plans and submit the whole bunch of them into the California Coastal Commission.

Every day it gets a little closer!