Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

GWNC News: Float Designer Rodriguez Receives Award; The LC Petitions for Full Liquor License

Raoul Rodriguez float

Wednesday evening the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council presented their Citizen’s Recognition award to Raul Rodriguez, the award winning designer of hundreds floats for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.

Fred Mariscal, chairman of the GWNC Outreach presented the award to Mr. Rodriguez on behalf of the neighborhood council. “It was very emotional, Mr, Rodriguez was deeply touched by the award and he expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the council members and the community.

GWNC Outreach Committee member, Patti Carroll, nominated Rodriguez because she thought it was important to “recognize an artist like Raul for his generous spirit which has brought so much beauty to our neighborhood.” Carroll was delighted the council could honor Rodriguez and agreed it was a very touching presentation.

Windsor Square’s Raul Rodriquez (photo credit:

Rodriguez is a third generation native of Los Angeles who began his career at the age of 15 when he created his first Rose parade float. Mr. Rodriguez’s floats have won more awards than any other designer in the history of the parade.

Rodriguez designed all the floats in Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary “Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams. In addition, he designed the 6 Flags Nighttime Electric Parade “Glow In The Park” and he has also illustrated several children’s books.

Rodriguez has been a great supporter of the Greater Wilshire Community for many years. For years, Rodriguez hosted the Windsor Square Hancock Park Historical Society members annual tour of the Rose Parade floats just days before the parade allowing visitors to see the construction of the close up as they were being completed. He also participated in their annual Christmas caroling party which ended at his home, always exquisitely decorated. Rodriguez supports many charitable organizations as well. He frequently donates his time and artistic services. Most recently, he designed the banners for Larchmont Boulevard.


In other GWNC news:

  • 11 community organizations have submitted requests for funds from the GWNC for various projects in the community. The council appointed an ad hoc committee to review the proposals and make a recommendation to the council for a vote at next month’s meeting. The GWNC has $10,000 to award to projects.
  • The date for Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council elections is set for March 30.  All 21 of the board seats are up for election. Candidates must have registered by February 13 and live, work or own property within one of the 15 GWNC neighborhoods to qualify…OR document their involvement with a Business, Non-Profit, Religious or Educational institution within the GWNC boundaries. There is also a seat just for Renters and an At Large seat that is open to anyone with any of the above qualifications, or who claims some other kind of factual basis stake in the area.
    • On Tuesday, March 18 at 6:30p there will be a candidate forum at the Wilshire United Methodist Church (4350 Wilshire Boulevard) where stakeholders can come hear the candidates make brief statements and ask them questions.
    • The polling place for the elections is Wilshire Crest Elementary School (5241 West Olympic Boulevard) from 12p-4p on Sunday, March 30.

The LC – More Information Necessary

The LC at Melrose and LarchmontFollowing the adjournment of the meeting, GWNC members convened an emergency meeting and unanimously voted to draft a letter to the zoning administrator stating the council’s absolute opposition to the application of a full liquor license to a restaurant/bar proposed at 710 El Centro Avenue (5665 Melrose Avenue), the north terminus of Larchmont Boulevard at Melrose. To date, only beer and wine licenses have been permitted on Larchmont Boulevard.

This same project was addressed and approved earlier in the week by two separate stakeholder groups.

  • The Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council (HSDNC) discussed the project in their monthly Board Meeting on Monday, February 14.  The project resides in CD13, within the boundaries of the HSDNC. This meeting was attended by Buzz co-editor Mary Hawley.
    • The HSDNC Board was prepared to act on the request because a representative for those petitioning for the full liquor license had presented to the HSDNC Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) prior to Monday’s Board Meeting. In that prior Planning and Land Use meeting, the HSDNC PLUM worked to identify the issues and get the petitioning party to agree to a slate of conditions.
    • Larchmont Village stakeholder, Karen Gilman, attended Monday’s HSDNC Board Meeting and requested 3 things:
      1. that the conditions be made mandatory
      2. that operational hours be reduced to 11p on weeknights and 12a on Friday and Saturday
      3. that there be no live entertainment
    • The petitioner was agreeable to those amendments and there was a motion by an HSDNC Board member to approve the HSDNC draft letter to the LA Zoning Administrator, pending the inclusion of Gilman’s requests.
  • The Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association, armed with first hand information regarding Monday’s HSDNC meeting thanks to Gilman, met on Tuesday, February 12 and voted to approve and issue a letter of support in favor of the 710 El Centro project (at The LC). 

The mandatory conditions that the petitioner has voluntarily agreed to adhere to are as follows:

  1. That valet parking be provided between the hours of 6:00 p.m. to closing by the applicant/operator at the site to accommodate overflow parking demand of the customers to park those cars on site.
  2. The hours of operation on site shall end at 11:00 p.m., except for Friday and Saturday night, where the operation shall be permitted until 12:00 midnight.
  3. Noise: the sorting of bottles shall be performed inside.
  4. Garbage pick-up shall be performed after 8:00 a.m.
  5. The volunteered conditions, provided by the applicant, shall be incorporated as conditions to this letter of support.
  6. No live entertainment.

The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, which is perfectly adjacent to the LC project with a boundary on the south side of Melrose, is charged with protecting the interests of stakeholders within its boundaries who could potentially be impacted by this project. It is likely that the petitioners didn’t recognize the need to meet with GWNC and it is expected that they will take the opportunity to present their intentions/project to the GWNC Planning and Land Use Committee at a future date. Until that time, the GWNC Board approved a letter that states the GWNC’s unequivocal opposition to the project as currently proposed.

The next GWNC Planning and Land Use Committee meeting is on February 25 at 6:30pm – details.

This story contributed by Mary Hawley and Patty Lombard.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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