Why create a site plan?

Our city of Coeur d’Alene requires a site plan prior to submitting for building permits. This plan is an illustration of the site perimeter, existing trees, and the proposed residence location. This information helps the city reviewers to determine whether the proposed plan meets setback and other requirements.

Where to begin?

Here are the two avenues we explored as we began developing our site plan.

1. Parcel Map


  • Through our Local County Assessor’s database, we were able to obtain a parcel map of our lot. This was helpful as an evaluation before purchasing the lot. We then saved this information as an image file, imported it into Chief Architect Software and then traced over it creating a 3D site plan.

Watch how we imported our parcel map to create the 3D site plan

2. Surveyor Data

Survey PDF1

  • To obtain more detailed information, we hired a local surveying company to mark the property boundary, elevation data, and major trees. Choosing the right company took a little work. We requested a couple of bids, references, and example DWG files to review. This allowed us to make sure the DWG file was formatted correctly with easy to identify layers. We were then able to easily convert it to a 3D plot plan with Chief Architect Software.

Watch how we imported the surveyor’s DWG file to create a 3D site plan

What’s Next?

Now that we have our site plan, we’ll use it to determine our residence location and landscape layout and begin the design process!


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