There is a misconception among some Ardmore businesses that runs contrary to city code. And that misconception has the potential to be costly.
Facilities that open their doors to the public must provide restrooms to the public. Becky Lynn, Ardmore code enforcement, says the city has received complaints from the public regarding instances when they were told there was not a restroom for usage.
"A lot of the stores you go to may have a sign that says no public restroom, and you can't do that," Lynn says. "We have had complaints. People call and say they were at a store with their child and needed to go to the restroom, and were told there is not a public restroom. You can't do that."
The places that must provide a public restroom are detailed in the International code, which Lynn says the city has adopted. Those places include the classifications of assembly, which details facilities from auditoriums to stadiums and places of worship. Business places, educational, factory and industrial, and institutional are also included, as well as mercantile. Mercantile is defined as:
• Retail stores
• Services stations
• Shopping centers
"Failure to allow the public to use the restroom can lead to a fine," Lynn says. "They also need to have restrooms available to the employees, and I have had several complaints about that."
Lynn also says new facilities and facilities that remodel have to have their restrooms brought up to code, which means making them handicapped accessible.
Lynn says there have been visits made to businesses regarding compliance, and those businesses have been cooperative. But there are public facilities that fall under the radar, as visits are based on reports from the public.