Another in a series of dental office design examples about “Don’t Assume Anything”. I hope you find this example informative about carefully checking the building codes and regulations for the location that you select.
Don’t Assume That You Can Build Your Dental Office At The Location You Select.
Dr. M. thought she had discovered the perfect location for her new dental office in a strip mall in Los Angeles. There was plenty of foot traffic and the leasing deal was just what she wanted.
She quickly signed the lease and hired me to design her office. However, when I proceeded to get the plans approved by the city I was informed that there wasn’t enough parking for a dental office.
I was confused because the location clearly met current parking code requirements. I researched the records and found that many years prior there had been a ruling that this particular area would be considered to have a special parking variance allowing only minimal parking. The variance stipulated that even the restaurants could only be open at night so as not to use up the parking spaces for an undo amount of time during the day.
In my research I also discovered that the ruling was no longer in affect. But for some reason, the city still attempted to use the outdated parking variance rule. Apparently, because the person who eliminated the variance had died, the city wouldn’t recognize the change.
Dr. M. was distraught as she had already signed the lease and wanted the space. After a number of frustrating meetings with the city I was able to prevail and got them to agree to follow their own rules. Ultimately, they allowed her to build her dental office at this location where she is happily doing very well!
These types of hidden and unexpected obstacles come up all the time. Unfortunately, more often than than not, the landlord is completely unaware. At Unique Interior Designs, we help our clients discover these issues early on in the process, ultimately avoiding costly delays and expensive mistakes.
And we have a great track record of resolving and working through many of these issues by working diligently with the city and building regulators, as was the case here with Dr M. Our ability to prevail in many instances is a result of many years of experience having encountered almost every obstacle imaginable.
So proceed carefully when you select a new location for your dental practice. And don’t assume that your landlord always provides you with accurate and correct information. Remember, when it comes down to a contest between you and the city, unless you have the background and experience, the city usually wins.