Land Excavation Permits

If you are excavating or hauling-off more than 10,000 cubic yards of dirt, sand, shell, stone, peat, muck or other natural ground materials, you will need a land excavation permit.

Excavation and off-site hauling of less than 10,000 cubic yards, or excavation of more than 10,000 cubic yards where the material remains on site, requires a different permit process to obtain a natural resources land alteration permit.

How much is 10,000 cubic yards?

An excavation of about 135 by 135 feet, 15 feet deep or one acre excavated 6.2 feet deep.

Process and fees

This process takes approximately 6 months and consists of obtaining two different permits:

  • Special use permit
    • $2,725 application fee
  • Operating permit
    • $525 application fee
    • $975 amendment fee
    • Reclamation bond in the amount of 110% of the reclamation costs for the two largest excavation phases - due prior issuing the operation permit
    • Land Excavation Inspection Fee of $0.04 per cubic yard excavated is due quarterly once excavation begins

Special use permit

This is the first step when you want to get a land excavation permit. Since this is an extremely detailed and complex process, we require you to set up a pre-application meeting with the land excavation and phosphate mining team. At this meeting we will give you the special use application packet and go over the entire review process and materials required for submission.

  • Call (813) 276-8370 to set up your pre-application meeting
    • You will submit the completed special use application to Natural Resources
    • Although you can prepare this yourself, you may require the services of a professional engineer and/or land use planner due to the complexity of the submission requirements
  • Submit completed application to:
    County Center
    601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
    20th Floor
    Tampa, FL 33602

Special use review and approval process

  1. After you submit your application, we will review it and let you know if you need to submit further information
  2. During the review we will look for land use compatibility and location criteria
  3. After the review is completed, we will place your application on the Land Use Hearing Officer public meeting schedule
  4. At the hearing you, the public and our staff can state their positions
  5. Within 15 working days, the Land Use Hearing Officer will make a decision whether to approve, approve with conditions, or deny your application
  6. Special use permits are good for a period determined by the Land Use Hearing Officer during the approval process

Operating permit

  • You cannot obtain an operating permit until you have received your special use permit. Once you have received that, you can arrange a pre-application meeting for the operating permit
  • Call (813) 276-8370 to set up your pre-application meeting
  • Submit your completed land excavation operating permit application to the staff of the Land Excavation / Phosphate Mining team
  • Submit completed application to the permitting office only at:
    County Center
    601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
    19th Floor
    Tampa, FL 33602

Operating permit review and approval process

Various agencies will review your application and focus on the technical details and operational standards of the excavation. Upon completion of this review, no public hearing is required. The administrator will make a decision whether to issue, issue with conditions, or deny your application. Operating permits come up for administrative review at least every three years.

Appeals and changes

  • If you wish to appeal a denial of a special use permit, you may appeal to the>Land Use Appeals Board (LUAB)
  • If you wish to appeal a denial of an operating permit, you may appeal to the Land Use Hearing Officer
  • If you wish to change the conditions of your special use permit, you will need to apply for a new special use permit and complete all of the steps outlined previously
  • If you wish to amend your operating permit, you must file for an amendment through Natural Resources staff

Final considerations

  • After you receive both the special use and operating permits you will need to make sure you do the following:
    • obtain all other required permits, including those from different regulatory agencies
    • comply with the permit conditions and the provisions of the Land Development Code
    • ensure truck traffic from your site complies with the approved haul routes
    • pay quarterly land excavation inspection fees
    • complete reclamation of the site as designed



For more information call the Natural Resource Unit at (813) 272-5600, ext. 39737.