Registered Professional Planners (RPP) can interpret the official plan for your municipality, and can advise you on how your specific property conforms to the zoning and planning requirements of your particular neighborhood. They will help with submission requirements and can help you navigate the approval process. This includes consent applications, appearances before the Committee of Adjustment, zoning by-law amendments and appeals.
Contact a civil engineer when you believe your problem involves drainage issues, large retaining walls, sewers and other matters under the purview of a professional engineer. Structural engineers get involved with design of substantial foundations, retaining walls and decks. Engineers commonly utilize Topographic Plans, but also need to know the location of property boundaries. Both surveyors and engineers can provide grading plans, but only a professional surveyor can certify boundaries.
Architects generally expect you to provide them with all the necessary information about your property. Key among their requirements is a Topographic Plan. The survey plan delivers vital information that enables an architect to determine the size of the building that the property can sustain, as determined by municipal zoning limitations. Easements, conservation authority buffer zones, roof heights, utilities, tree locations and drip lines are other particulars shown on surveys that may be of interest to an architect. Landscape architects deal with features external to finished buildings (e.g., gardens), but will also need the spatial information provided by a survey plan.
Other experts you may need to consult include arborists, landscape architects, builders, realtors, soil experts, geophysicists, environmental analysts and more. The bottom line: call in a professional when you need one. With their guidance and assistance, your project—and your future—will be safe and worry free.