One Norman city councilwoman is pushing for a new ordinance to require changing station tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms.
“At the heart of it, it's an issue of accessibility, inclusivity and recognizing the changing trends in modern parenting,” Norman Councilwoman Kate Bierman, said.
City Councilwoman Kate Bierman says her idea was born about 10 months ago, after having her daughter. She said that about 50 percent of the time, there isn't a changing area for her to use in a public restroom.
And it's even harder for her husband to find one.
“We really need to be addressing the fact that men are taking a greater role in parenting, and there are many more single parents, single fathers even, than there used to be,” said Bierman.
The proposal would only apply to new commercial spaces, and to those that are renovating more than half of its existing bathroom space.
However, there was a council member who expressed he would vote no on this proposal. He said he'd rather see an incentive offered.
“Well I think it's a great idea. I mean, I just think it should be a resolution as opposed to an ordinance. My only kind of problem with it is it's requiring business to do it,” said Norman Councilman Robert Castleberry.
If Norman City Council does pass this ordinance, it would be the first city in Oklahoma to require changing tables in both women's and men's restrooms.
Bierman hopes the move will have the broadest quality-of-life impact with the lowest financial impact for business owners. She says the ordinance will go to a full city council study session soon.