-By Tammy

The process of opening a business is tedious. There are so many details. There are so many decisions. There is so much to know. We rely on more experts that I ever fathomed to exist. It boggles my mind. This process is also frustrating. It makes me ponder why.

Why do we have this ornate permitting process? I know… to protect the public. I have a space. I know how I want to use this space. I spend months designing it. I spend more months with builder, architect, drafter, electrical engineer, and mechanical engineer. Is everything to Code? Are the halls wide enough? Are the rooms large enough? Is everything ADA-compliant? Is there a sprinkler head in every single room? Is there enough lighting for tasks… for safety… and so on. The property owner has people to approve our plans. And then we wait for the City and County Department of Planning and Permitting. During these tough economic times everyone is hurting for business, yet amazingly we wait. We are at the mercy of one person… supposedly inundated… two months behind… without assistance. Why?… because he says so.

What are we to do? Mark has given his six-month notice to Kaiser. Every day of waiting after that six-month mark is money lost. I gave us ample time to get this business up and running yet we are running out of time. The solution: hire a third party expeditor. A what??? According the Star Bulletin, Hawaii has been using this process since 2003. It is recommended for large projects, but we are a tiny solo medical practice. We pay a third party a certain fee. These expeditors are certified to review our plans. Once approved, our plans are given their stamp of approval. Our plans are then resubmitted to this particular office. In my opinion, they will sit in his In Box for another three weeks or more. He is, after all, 2 months behind. But this time, he will see the stamp of approval given by the third party reviewer and likewise approve our plans. Does this really save any time? Who knows? We do it out of anxiety and impatience on my part. It is better to do SOMETHING rather than just wait.

Good news: we have permits!!! Our ‘stamped’ plans were submitted on a Monday and approved by that Friday. Amazing! So it cost more money. What is money? I am just thrilled that we can begin. A/C ductwork is already being fabricated and installed. I believe that wastewater plumbing is next.

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