Understanding what Site Plan control is and how it affects YOU is the first step to getting involved. We can help guide you through this process and even act on your behalf (as an agent). Contact us: www.inengineering.ca
Site Plan control is the TOOL that is used by your City or Municipality to ensure that land development is designed judiciously, is safe, functional and minimizes potential impacts on neighbouring properties. It also makes sure that the City or Municipality’s standards for developing land are respected.
The Site Plan Approval Agreement is a binding contract between the City or Municipality and the developer/owner. The Agreement consists of conditions of development, is required to be registered on title of the property and is a prerequisite to the building permit application process. This may sound a little overwhelming which is where we can help you. Contact us and let us know about your planning need. www.inengineering.ca
What is the Site Plan Review?
Site Plan Review refers to the process by which Cities or Municipalities approve development in accordance with the physical planning, built form and operational objectives identified within their Official Plan. Under Section 41 of the Ontario Planning Act, development within Municipalities is subject to Site Plan Control.
The review is important. It involves many individuals including planners, engineers, technical experts, and councillors. Most importantly, the goal is to ensure that the development will:
Be compatible with adjacent or nearby properties;
Have safe and easy access for pedestrians and vehicles;
Have adequate landscaping, parking and servicing;
Meet specific standards of quality and appearance; and
Be built and maintained in the manner by which the proposal was approved.
What is the Site Plan Review Process?
The developer/owner approaches Municipal staff with a proposal which is subject to Site Plan control (industrial, commercial, institutional, multi-residential, environmental, etc).
Developer consults with Municipal planner.
Developer submits the Site Plan application with required supporting information (this is an important step and having an agent act on your behalf may be the best solution for you – contact us at www.inengineering.ca The 30 days countdown starts at this stage.
Planner circulates the Site Plan and supporting information to senior staff and commenting agencies (conservation authority, heritage, health unit, etc.) for review and comment.
Senior staff review the results of the consultation with the developer. If the comments require significant alteration to the Site Plan, the developer is directed to carry out this work prior to presenting the Site Plan to Committee. This is an important part of the process and the developer/owner may appeal this decision to Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
The municipal planner presents a summary report to Committee outlining the nature of the Site Plan. The results are circulated and revisions are included in Council’s approval.
Council approves the Site Plan subject to the various revisions. There are 30 days between this step and when the Site Plan control is submitted with required supporting information.
If Council fails to approve the Site Plan within 30 days, or if the developer/owner is not satisfied with any requirements made by the Council, the developer/owner may appeal the Site Plan, including terms of the Site Plan Agreement to the OMB.
Where there is no appeal, the Site Plan Agreement is registered on title of the property. Once the developer/owner has signed the Site Plan Agreement, a building permit can be issued for the development.
As discussed earlier in this article, this Agreement is a binding contract. This means that the Site Plan Approval Agreement will be prepared and issued by the City, Municipality’s Legal Department. The developer/owner will be provided a copy of the Agreement for their review and signature. Upon receipt of the signed Agreement, the City, Municipality’s Legal Department will register it on title of the subject lands.
At that time, the developer shall commence fulfillment of the conditions and provisions of the Agreement. Pre-permit conditions of the Site Plan Approval Agreement can in large be executed throughout the Site Plan Review process in a proactive manner, should the developer/owner wish to expedite the receipt of a Building Permit.
In conclusion, this process may sound very inconvenient and onerous. Let IN Engineering + Surveying help you navigate through your Site Plan Control Agreement and contact us at www.inengineering.ca
We are pleased to announce that we are at a new location!
Starting today, IN Engineering + Surveying will be at our new location;7 KING STREET WEST, UNIT 203, BROCKVILLE. We will be on the second floor, above the downtown Scotiabank and beside MNP.
We appreciate your patience and can assure that no projects were impacted during this transition. Our phone numbers and email addresses all remain the same, so you can still reach us. However, our old address is no longer valid.
We look forward to continuing to provide our community with professional surveying and engineering services. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us. We appreciate your understand and cooperation during this exciting time of growth for our company.
Plotting the Future:Contributions to the History of Canada by Surveyors and Contracting Engineers from Eastern Ontario
Charles Broad Willem Melchers UE
For Discussion / Editing / Peer Review
Announced recently, the merger of IN Engineering with Collett Surveying Limited marks a return of full-service engineering services to Brockville, Ontario and surrounding area. IN Engineering established in 2018 is, one of the newest engineering firms in the area. By contrast, Collett Surveying Limited, purchased by current owner Brent Collett in 1996, is one of the oldest continuously run surveying operations in the region, tracing its origin back to its founding in 1881 by Willis Chipman, a professional engineer and land surveyor who left his mark on the history of Canada across a storied career. He would later sell his practice to Lieutenant Colonel Bryce J Saunders who would go on to partner with Thomas Henry Wiggins, each making interesting contributions to the history of Canada in their own rights. Canada at the turn of the 20th century would have been an exciting place for a surveyor or contracting engineer. The country was a little over three decades old, new provincial governments were formed or being formed under the auspices of joining Confederation and the Government of Sir Wilfred Laurier was implementing an ambitious immigration agenda to settle the west. To say the landscape was changing rapidly is an understatement and there is little doubt that surveyors and engineers of that time were plotting and building the future of the country.
This paper sets out to examine some of the contributions these individuals made to a young Canada and how their influence shaped the direction of the country. Interestingly, each seemingly had a sense of civic duty, both in commitment to their profession and in service to their community. A look at the contributions of these individuals should without a doubt serve as a reminder that the future is built upon the contributions of those that came before us. As new meets old in the world of surveying and engineering perhaps these stories can serve to inspire the growing team at IN Engineering & Surveying. Where Chipman and his contemporaries were re-imagining home sewer systems, today the team at IN Engineering & Surveying are leveraging the latest best practices in Building Information Modeling, 3D Modelling and photorealistic rendering. This is moving the world of surveying and engineering from the typical 2D paper-based drawings into one that is fully rendered and 3D.
Information in this paper is largely drawn from the records of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors who maintain an impressive collection of biographies from past members.
Willis Chipman (1855-1929)
Willis Chipman founded his private practice in Brockville, Ontario as a Land Surveyor and Civil Engineer in 1881. He would eventually become the town engineer and would prepare the town plan for Brockville in 1883/1884. Mr. Chipman would be recognized as a founding member of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors, serving as its first secretary treasurer from 1886-1890, as Vice-President in 1895 and as President in 1896. In 1923 he would become the President of the Ontario Association of Engineers. Born near present day Elgin, Ontario he would complete his public schooling in Athens, Ontario before moving to Montréal, Quebec, for high school, later attending McGill University, graduating in 1876 with first rank honours in Civil and Mechanical Engineering.
Throughout his professional career he was a strong advocate for city sewer systems and home sanitation. In 1881 he published a paper titled “How to Do It: Some Suggestions on House Sanitation” which was prepared for the “association of executive health officers of Ontario”. His paper was ahead of its time in Canada describing the importance of city planners and engineers working in close collaboration with public health officials to ensure effective sanitation. He placed emphasis on the more wider use of water closets and plumbing fixtures to advance civic sanitation. He argued this would create the conditions necessary for avoiding the propagation, or worse, the creation of epidemics. Stating that home plumbing was not just a luxury of the rich and should be available or at least required for all citizens of a city; rich and poor alike. An examination of his career demonstrates that this was a view he held throughout as he brought this idea of sanitary engineering to communities across Canada helping to reduce the prevalence of disease spread by poor water and waste disposal practices.
Chipman quickly established himself as a leading designer of water and sewer works. His designs would be use to construct sewer works all across Ontario, including Cornwall, Pembroke, Gananoque, Arnprior, Renfrew and Lindsay. His work and his contributions to the surveyors association would pull him more and more to Toronto and he would officially relocate there by 1894. That said, his contribution to Brockville and surrounding area cannot be understated.
Bryce J. Saunders (1860 – 1926)
Willis Chipman sold his practice in 1891 to Lieutenant Colonel Bryce J. Saunders. Saunders, born in the area of present-day Lyndhurst, Ontario, qualified as a Land Surveyor in 1884 and as an Engineer in 1886. Like his predecessor, he would eventually be appointed as the town engineer in Brockville in 1892, holding the position until 1896. Saunders was a military man serving Canada across many armed conflicts in its early history.
Just three years after the British North America Act founded the Dominion of Canada in 1867, at the ripe age of ten, he served as a drummer boy in a small unit involved in defending Brockville, Ontario against potential Fenian Raids in 1870. As an adult, he would serve with the ‘Dominion Land Surveyors Intelligence Corps’ deployed in 1888 during engagements at Fish Creek and at Batoche as part of the North West Rebellion. As a point of historical intrigue, this intelligence corps was the first ever unit in the British Empire to ever be designated as such. He would volunteer to join the Canadian contingent sent to South Africa as part of the Boer War, although he would not be selected to serve in that conflict. In the years leading up to the First World War he would serve as a Captain in the Canadian Mounted Rifles in Edmonton, Alberta. He would be promoted to the rank of Major in the 19th Alberta Dragoons during which time was among a prestigious few to represent Canada at the funeral of King Edward VII in May, 1910. An event marked by the rare photograph of ‘Nine Sovereigns at Windsor’ which was the last time that many sovereigns of Europe gathered in one place at the same time. Finally, he volunteered to serve in the First World War returning in 1919 to retire with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His impressive military service is accentuated by the fact that he did so while pursuing his private practice and contributing to his community as a public servant across Federal, territorial and municipal departments.
In 1897, Saunders was commissioned by the Ontario Government to survey the boundary between the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. By the turn of the century the allure of the west was calling; a surveyor and engineers dream at the seemingly blank slate that was the new territories seeking to join confederation. He would become Deputy Minister of Public Works for the Northwest Territory. A few years later he would relocate his private practice to Edmonton just one year before Alberta joined confederation. His designs and works can be found across Alberta and his contribution to the young province is well documented right until his death in 1926.
Chipman and Saunders would each be recognized for their contributions to their field and to their communities. In recognition of Willis Chipman’s contribution to the field of engineering across Canada, the non-profit industry association, ‘the Consulting Engineers of Ontario’ created in 2003 the Willis Chipman Award to recognize the knowledge, skill and expertise of consulting firms and to showcase the importance of engineering projects to the economic, social and environmental well-being of Ontario. To further commemorate him the main office building of IN Engineering and Surveying is named after Willis. Saunders is remembered by the tributes following his passing in 1926 and the fact that his remains were escorted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and officers of the local militia while his funeral was described as an event with the “befitting dignity of a military ceremony.”
In Brockville, the private practice founded by Chipman and furthered by Saunders would pass to Thomas Henry Wiggins, who again, advancing similar principles of home water and sewer systems to continue improving the living conditions of the area’s residence which no doubt allowed the communities of eastern Ontario to grow. From there, the firm was in continuous operation offering surveying services to the area. It was purchased by Brent Collett in 1996 and now, in 2020, merging with IN Engineering. As a result of its long history, IN Engineering & Surveying offices alone have the records of surveyors and their associated Ontario Land Surveyors Registration Number, including Willis Chipman (181), John Harrison Moore (260), William Verner Taylor (306), Samuel Barber Code (349), Andrew Wellington Gray (549), Raymond Frank Mucklestone (613), Martin Herman Kaldeway (1249) and of course, William Brent Collett (1641). Imagine the stories that could be told behind each of those careers.
As IN Engineering & Surveying sets out to establish itself as the leading full service engineering firm for the area the hope is that it will continually look back on its rich history and be reminded that the surveyors and engineers of Canada’s past have plotted and built the future of this country. They are off to a good start as they have already demonstrated a willingness to contribute to local community projects including the P&G Pavillion at Rotary Park and the reconstruction efforts behind the Five Mile Lighthouse project. This small, local team has an exciting opportunity to build off the legacy of those that came before.
A minor variance is a change or permission from the specific requirements of the Town’s zoning by-law. It is a small variation from the requirements of the zoning by-law. The minor variance process allows a property owner the opportunity to seek permission or relief from a specific provision of the Town’s zoning by-law by applying to the Committee of Adjustment. They are used for issues such as small changes to building setback or parking requirements. A minor variance is a small variation from the requirements of the zoning bylaw. In summary, a minor variance approval is a certificate of permission, because it allows the property owner to obtain a building permit even though their property does not comply precisely with the zoning bylaw. To learn more about a minor variance and see how we can help you, contact us.
Who approves minor variances?
The approval of a minor variance rests with your City or Township’s Committee of Adjustment (Committee). Before you apply for a minor variance, you should consult the Planning Department at your city or township. They can fully explain the process including the dates for site visit and meetings, how to apply, supporting material that must be submitted and any other approvals that may be required. The minor variance form can usually be found on your Township or City’s website. Contact us about your minor variance.
Your planning department will be able to explain the process, how to apply, supporting material required (i.e. sketches, plans, building location survey, etc.) and other approvals that may be required. There is always a fee (can range from $600-$800) when applying.
As an applicant, you will be required to complete the application form. The more accurate the information provided, the less likely that delays will occur. If your submission is incomplete, your application will be returned. Also, the 30 day time frame for making a decision does not begin until all of the prescribed information is received. Once the application is ready to be processed, there will be a site visit conducted by the Planning Advisory Committee. They will visit the site and make recommendations to the Committee of Adjustment. The property owners 60 metres surrounding the subject property and other applicable approval authorities will be circulated a notice of the application with a site plan 10 days prior to the Committee of Adjustment meeting. Any person or public body may submit opinions /concerns to the Committee. These submissions will be read into the record at the Committee of Adjustment meeting. When the Committee has made a decision on your application, it is required to send a Notice of Decision, within 10 days of the decision being made, to the applicant and any other person or public body who attended the meeting and requested, in writing to the Clerk, to be notified. Once the decision is made, a 20 day appeal period follows. Any appeal can be filed with the Clerk of the municipality who will forward it to the Ontario Municipal Board. Ask us to help you navigate through this process and act as your agent in your minor variance.
How is the variance application evaluated?
When the Committee is considering a variance application, the four tests as prescribed by Sec. 45(1) of the Planning Act are applied to determine if the variance should be approved. The four tests are: Is the application minor in nature? Is it appropriate and desirable development for the area? Is it in keeping with the purpose and intent of the Zoning By-law? Is it in keeping with the purpose and intent of the Official Plan? We can help you with your minor variance.
What about the conditions of a variance approval?
A variance approval may contain various conditions including approvals from outside agencies such as your local Health Unit or Conservation Authority or any other condition that the Committee feels is appropriate. Every variance approval will contain the condition that there is a 20 day appeal period before a building permit can be issued.
How can IN Engineering + Surveying help you?
We can help you navigate this process and act on your behalf (agent). We can liaise with your City or Township, fill out the minor variance form, represent you at the Committee of Adjustment Meeting, address queries from neighboring landowners, and even help through the appeal process. Contact our office for the minor variance fees.
ABOUT IN ENGINEERING + SURVEYING
IN Engineering + Surveying has been providing engineering services across Eastern Ontario since 2018. In March 2020, In Engineering acquired Collett Surveying, one of the oldest businesses in Brockville and Eastern Ontario. This acquisition positions In Engineering + Surveying as a new and modern engineering firm which can now offer engineering, surveying, planning and architectural services. IN Engineering is a modern firm as it offers services that can see a project through, start to finish.
In addition to providing leading-edge designs from professional engineers they have also been active in serving the community by donating engineering services to local projects like the P&G Pavilion at Rotary Park and assisting with the reconstruction of the Five Mile Lighthouse.
Our office has surveyor records for Eastern Ontario dating back to 1830. Below shows the date the member joined the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors and where they operated from. Photos are from Library and Archives Canada and are not all portraits of the surveyor.
Andrew Melchers and Brent Collett are proud to announce the formation of IN Engineering and Surveying in Brockville, Ontario. IN Engineering and Surveying will provide Surveying, Building Design and Engineering services to commercial, residential and community projects across Eastern Ontario, ensuring intelligent, intuitive and inspired solutions to any problem.
Andrew’s experience as an innovative engineer is well-known in our region. IN Engineering is honoured to support community projects including the 5 Mile Lighthouse rebuild, and Brockville’s Rotary Park Pavilion. As head of IN Engineering, Andrew is driven by a passion for designing with wood products such as timber, engineered wood products and standard lumber.
Andrew is a fully qualified and experienced engineer; he holds UE, M.Eng and P.Eng designations, and is Brockville’s 2018 Young Professional of the Year. As leader of IN Engineering and Surveying, Andrew is proud that the new organisation will maintain its head office in Downtown Brockville.
Brent Collett has over 30 years of experience as an Ontario Land Surveyor, and has owned Collett Surveying since 1996. Collett Surveying Ltd. is one of the oldest land survey firms in eastern Ontario, founded in 1881 by Willis Chipman. A Professional Engineer and Ontario Land Surveyor himself, Chipman was responsible for designing some of the first sewer systems in Canada. In combining services with IN Engineering, Collett Surveying is truly honouring its roots as a full service Engineering and Surveying firm.
The staff and management of Collett Surveying are proud of their company’s long history, and proud to now continue that legacy with IN Engineering and Surveying. Moving forward, Brent and his entire team will continue to provide expert surveying services defined by personal and operational excellence. Alongside Andrew, Brent will also play an active role in managing the new company.
From the first meeting through to the final conclusion of the project, we take pride in building professional relationships that last. We also believe professional engineering and surveying doesn’t have to be expensive. By utilizing modern software and efficient work flows, we produce efficient designs in half the time.
When you choose IN Engineering and Surveying for your project, you are choosing to support local community projects through social enterprise. We partner with local non profits like Rotary International and Habitat for Humanity to give back to our community. We invite you to tell us about your project – we are always looking for opportunities to make our community a better place.
In order to properly plan a building a number of different professional disciplines will be required. This list is for a typical large commercial building, for smaller buildings and homes some of these professionals aren’t required. We also created the list for Ontario building projects, however it may be applicable to most projects in Canada and North America. This is not meant to be a break down of responsibilities within a profession, often at times roles can be taken on by other qualified professionals. Roles within a project often vary depending on who the prime consultant is. The prime consultant can be any of these professions.
1. Ontario Licensed Surveyor
Determines property lines, severing land for new lots.
Topographic survey of existing terrain.
Building Location Survey of all existing data.
Determining the building envelope to comply with municipal by-laws.
Ontario Licensed Surveyors (OLS) are responsible for determining the property lines for a building a lot. For new construction, they will complete a topographic (topo) and building location survey (BLS) in order to get a elevation data and all existing data on the property. The property survey, topo and BLS can be completed all at the same time for some cost savings. Sometimes engineering firms will conduct the topo and BLS, however only an OLS can determine property lines. Determining the property lines is required in order to find the building envelope of the lot. The building envelope takes into consideration any municipal by-laws and set backs the property may be subject to. In all new construction projects a recent property survey is required. A topo and BLS is not necessarily required but will assist the designers during the planning phase of the project. An OLS can also create a drainage plan under the Drainage Act, however this work is usually covered by a civil engineer.
Design, layout and aesthetics of the building.
Preparation of construction documents (building permit).
Insures compliance with all parts of the Ontario Building Code.
The Ontario Association of Architects is the self-regulating organization that governs the practice of architecture in Ontario. Architectural services include design, preparation of construction documents and construction administration. During the planning the architect will determine floor layouts, elevations, finishes etc. Architects will ensure the finished building has the aesthetics required to the client’s needs. Architects will also ensure that the building conforms to all parts of the Ontario Building Code. Building code compliance would include making sure there are enough fire exits and travel distances are adequate, conformance to accessibility standards, environmental separation, etc.
3. Architectural Technologists
Design, layout and aesthetics of a building.
Drafting and production of construction documents and specifications.
Architectural technologists provide design services for construction projects. The Association of Architectural Technologists of Ontario governs this profession. Architectural provide the drafting support and are knowledgeable in the application of the building. Architectural technologists can authorize designs under a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN).
4. Civil Engineers
Drainage design for the site.
Building drainage design.
Determine site works and finished grades.
Parking lots, roadways and curbing.
Determine water and septic service requirements.
All engineers are required to have a Professional Engineer’s License issued by Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO). Civil engineers are predominately responsible for ensuring water on site is properly accounted for. A civil engineer will determine how much surface water the site collects and where it should go. Runoff is mitigated either through sewers or surface drainage systems such as ditches. Civil engineers will also determine the final site plan and locations of parking lots, roadways and concrete curbing.
5. Structural Engineers
Determine loads the building is subject to.
Design of structural elements within a building.
Creates structural specifications.
Structural engineers are responsible for the portion of the building that resists the environmental loads. Structural engineers will determine the weight (dead load), occupancy (live load), snow load, wind load and seismic (earthquake) load. These loads will be analyzed to determine the size of the structural members such as the beams and columns. The loads are calculated based on the Ontario Building Code and vary depending on the building. The structural members can be any material including wood, steel and concrete, various materials are governed by CSA codes. The structural engineer will also write specifications for the structure to ensure the building is built to the CSA material code and best practices.
6. Mechanical Engineers
Determine heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) requirements.
Determine plumbing and septic requirements.
Construction specifications for required equipment.
Mechanical engineers are responsible for the HVAC and plumbing requirements of the building. Mechanical units will be sized and specified based on the building to ensure the building is properly heated and cooled. Mechanical engineers may also determine plumbing and septic requirements.
7. Electrical Engineers
Power and electricity requirements.
Electrical engineers will determine how much power the building requires and coordinate with the local utility. They may also assist the architect in determining the lighting requirements.
There are many more professionals that may be responsible for various aspects of a building depending on the complexity some these include:
Environmental engineers and conservation authority.
Communications, IT and security consultants.
Building envelope specialist.
It takes many professional to plan and design a building. Consultant fees can vary between 10% to 30% of the total building cost. Be sure to check our construction checklist for help with starting a project. IN Engineering is a structural engineering firm, however we do have access to all of the consultants listed above should you require assistance in finding qualified professionals. In Eastern Ontario be sure to consult with LG Approved for a list of professionals for your building project.