Me, Myself & Me

ME:  I’m Ira Belgrade, owner and founder of YimbyLA!  MYSELF:  a Los Angeles homeowner and ME:  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 to get passed…but more on that later😊). Like many of you, I flew under the radar for years, until someone (was it YOU?!) reported me to the city for having an illegal rental unit. I was cited by the city and given an “Order To Comply” and experienced the 7 stages of Order to Comply grief:  😲😨😰😢💩😫🖕   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  There were thousands out there like me with unpermitted rental units because outdated local zoning regulations didn’t allow them.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 thru 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 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.  Now I’ve started YimbyLA! as a business to help others.  While the ability to create an ADU is available now to everyone in California, it’s still a process that can be time consuming, confusing and costly.  YimbyLA! will give you a written, detailed, specific plan for you to follow for your individual property to help you get your legal ADU, and if you wish, YimbyLA! can help you, step by step, thru the entire process.