Avenue 52 Shell Station Robo-Car Wash & Councilman Gil Cedillo vs. The People of Highland Park

The owners of the Shell gas station at 5137 N. Figueroa Street, on the corner of Avenue 52, want to build an automatic car wash. An automatic car wash already exists at a 76 station across Avenue 52. A union hand wash exists directly across the street on North Figueroa Street. Over 1,000 local residents from the immediate area have signed a petition opposed to this, a potential 3rd, car wash at this intersection.

The project is scheduled for another public hearing at the East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission on March 11, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. at Ramona Hall located at 4580 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065.

An early City Planning determination (a “Project Permit Compliance Review and an HPOZ Certificate of Compatibility”) approved the project. The neighbors living next door filed an appeal and the project was taken up by the local Area Planning Commission where the findings from the Compliance Review were reversed and the permits were denied.

Following some sort of lobbying effort by a consultant hired by the Shell station owner, Councilman Gil Cedillo had the matter taken from the APC and sent to his council committee on Housing and Land Use. Press and community attention made Cedillo shelve the hearing he’d planned and the matter was officially sent back to the East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission for another public hearing, which is set to take place on March 11, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. at Ramona Hall (4850 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065).

The video above is from an interview with Mercedes Vasquez, the grandmother of the family that filed the appeal against the car wash.


Mi nombre es Mercedes Vasquez, yo y mi familia hemos vivido por mas de 45 años en esta casa.

Y yo estoy muy preocupada porque quieren construir un tercer carwash a 5 pies de mi casa.

Y mi, yo tengo un esposo enfermo de demencia y Parkinson’s y la sala y la recamara están muy cerca y esa es la razón por lo que me opongo a construir el tercer carwash.

Porque esos carwash va perjudicar a mi familia, a mi nietos y ya hemos tenido 3 reunions y ahora el senor Cedillo se a puesto a favor del negocio y quiere construir, ayudar al senor construir el carwash

Yo no estoy de acuerdo porque nosotros lo elegimos a el para que nos ayudé a la comunidad no a los negocios.

Poreso yo pido que ustedes, hemos tenido ya 3 reuniones y nosotros y se le negó, al senor construir el carwash.

Y luego fue y busco al señor Cedillo y yo no vello que este bien eso porque el tiene que ver por la comunidad, muchas gracias.


My name is Mercedes Vasquez. My family has lived for more than 45 years in this house.
I am very worried because [the Shell station owner] wants to build a third carwash 5 feet from my house.
My husband is sick and suffers from dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Our living room and bedrooms are very close [to where the car wash will be located] and that’s the reason I am opposed to construct the 3rd carwash.
The car wash will harm my family, my grandchildren. We have already had 3 hearings and now Mr. [Gil] Cedillo is in favor of the business and wants to build, help, the man (owner) build the carwash.
I disagree, because we voted for him to help the community not just the businesses.
So, I ask you, we already have had 3 hearings and the request to build the carwash was denied.
Then the owner went and sought out Mr. Cedillo. That is not right because Councilman Cedillo has to look out for the community. Thank you very much.

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