Not along ago, we shared the story of a Grosse Pointe, MI urgent care operator that was losing patients due to an overflow parking situation in the retail center where they were located. They were allotted a certain number of spots according to the terms of their lease, but those spaces were too often used by patrons of a neighboring athletic facility. Beaumont Urgent Care thought putting up signs indicating which parking spaces were “theirs” would do the trick—only to be told the signs would have to come down because they violated municipal code. Undeterred, the operators researched the matter further, determined what size and style of sign would meet city standards, and sought a variance to the existing code, citing their need to ensure that people who needed medical care—and who sought it at that location—would be able to park as quickly and closely as possible. The variance was approved and new signs went up, warning nonpatients that they risk getting a ticket and paying a fine if they park in one of the dedicated spots. While enforcement may still rely on urgent care staff keeping an eye on where drivers head after they park, over time it’s likely that scofflaws will get the message and Beaumont patients will get the convenient parking they need, ensuring more convenient care and presumably enabling the operators to build a customer base. The moral of the story is, sometimes you really shouldn’t take No for an answer—for your patients’ benefit as well as your own. JUCM looked at some of the more vexing issues urgent care operators face as real estate tenants in an article called What Use Restrictions Can Landlords Impose on Urgent Care Facilities?
Sometimes, Fighting City Hall (and Persistence) Works—for Your Business and Your Patients