Protesters Rally Outside Stradella ‘Party House’ After Another Noisy Saturday Night
By Matt Lopez
Another weekend brought about what was apparently another wild party at what is quickly becoming one of Bel-Air’s most notorious party houses.
The Courier has reported in recent weeks about the mansion at 779 Stradella Rd. in Bel Air, owned by Jeffrey Yohai, the former son-in-law of President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The property has become notorious in recent months for being rented out to host wild ragers lasting well into the wee hours of the morning. An AirBNB listing for the property included a line, which has since been removed, making it clear that the home was available for parties.
It appeared things were beginning to quiet down and, according to emails obtained by the Courier, a settlement was even close to being signed off on between Yohai and nearby residents to restrict certain uses of the property.
Instead, the parties continued last weekend. On Saturday night, word began circulating among residents that cars were lining up along Stradella. Residents report to the Courier that loud, profanity-laced rap music blared from the home well into the evening, at least until 7 p.m. Partygoers were reported by residents to be wandering the streets as late as 10 p.m.
“There’s nowhere I can go in my house and not listen to this. And it’s been going on since before 3.” wrote one resident in an email obtained by the Courier.
Just days later, on Monday, neighbors were granted a temporary restraining order by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan, who barred the property from having any amplified sound with a noise level that exceeds 55 decibels between the hours of 4:30 p.m. until 9 a.m. the following day. Karlan’s order stipulates that the sound should not be audible from within 200 feet of the home.
Yohai is also barred from “using or renting the Stradella property in violation of any applicable codes… [or] in violation of any applicable zoning laws or regulations without any necessary licenses or permits.”
Guests of the Stradella home are banned from parking in “no-parking” areas while at, arriving to or departing from the home. Other orders from Karlan cover litter or trash being left in the area, which has been a problem in the past following parties.
Karlan ordered Yohai and his assistant, Allie Hathaway, to appear in court April 26.
“This house is yet another glaring example of short-term rentals facilitating unlawful activities,” said Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, whose district includes the neighborhood of Bel-Air. “From promoting illegal hotels which decimate the local housing market, to creating new loopholes for the likes of Paul Manafort to exploit, short term rental platforms are inextricable from shady financial dealings that harm communities in my district.”
Protesters hit Stradella
Days after the latest party, a group of some 30 housing activists and union workers known as Unite Here 11 were outside the property picketing the property.
“Our union has been doing a series of protests at short-term rentals across Los Angeles in order to encourage our elected officials to stop the loss of our housing stock and loss of neighborhood character caused by unregulated short-term rentals,” said Unite Here 11 spokesman Charlie Carnow.
“Late night drunken party-goers and traffic jammed hillside streets have no place in a residential area.” said Shawn Bayliss, executive director of the Bel-Air Association. “Hotels and event spaces are designed and staffed for this, not neighborhoods where people must go to work the next morning.”
A fall 2015 report by the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy revealed that Los Angeles lost 10,394 units to Airbnb and other short-term rental platforms.
“Airbnb has transformed much needed housing stock into defacto hotels,” said Jose Aguilar, a cook at the Doubletree Downtown LA and member of UNITE HERE Local 11, the hospitality workers union. “Just like any other hotel that doesn’t care about the community, they shouldn’t be surprised when this loss of our housing stock faces pickets and protest.”