I’m Ira Belgrade, owner and founder, of YimbyLA! I’m a Los Angeles homeowner and Accessory Dwelling Unit activist.
I’m the first person in Los Angeles to permit their unpermitted rented guest house into a legal Accessory Dwelling Unit under California’s new state laws, which I helped get passed. Like many of you, I flew under the radar for years until someone reported me to the city for having an illegal rental unit.
I was cited by the city and given an “Order To Comply”!
I was not about to lose my much needed rental income but the only option available to me at the time was to apply for a variance…with absolutely no guarantee of getting approved! But I found out that I wasn’t alone. There were thousands out there like me with unpermitted rental units because outdated local zoning regulations didn’t allow them. Then I heard about Senator Bob Wieckowski’s bill SB 1069 and Assemblymember Richard Bloom’s bill AB 2299 and I knew there was hope! Finally there was legislation on the state level that would help people like me have a legal rental unit in their backyard without having to jump through the impossible hoops of local zoning regulations and the impossible uncertain process of a variance. Not only would thousands like myself be helped but so would California’s depleted housing stock. I began a concerted effort with Wieckowski’s office, writing letters and making calls. I started a Change.Org petition to support the bills, and I organized and coordinated phone calls to legislators to support the bills, which passed and were signed into law by Gov. Brown. Throughout my three year journey/process, I helped many others along the way and learned a lot…so much that I was asked to contribute to the California Department of Housing and Community Development Memorandum on Accessory Dwelling Units. I started YimbyLA! as a way to help others like myself and we’ve grown to handle every aspect of ADU creation. Now the ability to build an ADU is available to everyone in California, but it’s still a process that can be time consuming, confusing and costly.
YimbyLA! can help you every step of the way!