Plans for mixed housing development in the village of Yellow Springs, Ohio, where comic superstar Dave Chappelle lives, have been nixed after the funnyman and other residents protested.
Oberer Homes, a new home construction company out of Miamisburg, Ohio, has plans to develop 53 acres in Yellow Springs, which is about 20 miles east of Dayton. The village and the company produced a plan that would have included duplexes, single-family homes and an affordable housing component on the south edge of the small town.
However, on Monday night, numerous residents, Chappelle among them, pushed back against revised “planned unit development” zoning, the Dayton Daily News reported. The village council voted — two members voted for the plan and two against, with one abstention. That means the development can continue, but without an affordable housing component. Yellow Springs and Oberer will now move forward with the building of 143 single-family homes, each with a starting price of about $300,000.
According to reporting in December from the Dayton Daily News, Chappelle opposed the original plan and, in fact, the entire housing development project. Chappelle noted that he has “invested millions of dollars in town,” and said in December he was “adamantly opposed to it.”
“If you push this thing through, what I’m investing in is no longer applicable,” the comedian said at the time.
He reiterated his threats on Monday night, saying, “Hi, I’m Dave Chappelle,” as he took to the microphone to a few chuckles from the audience. “I just wanna say, I don’t know why the village council would be afraid of litigation from a $24 million-a-year company while it kicks out a $65 million-a-year company.”
“I cannot believe you would make me audition for you. You look like clowns,” Chappelle said Monday. “I am not bluffing. I will take it all off the table. That’s all, thank you.”
The “all off the table” threat includes Chappelle’s plans for a Firehouse Eatery and a comedy club, which is under development in an old village firehouse. Chappelle’s company, Iron Table Holdings LLC, bought the former Miami Township Fire Station in December 2020 as the site of the planned venue, Live from YS, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“If we build this thing, I’m telling you, all the greats will come,” Chappelle said at the village commission meeting late last year, adding, “The way we treat each other in this community is an example for the rest of the country. This club will put us in a position to inspire people to put their best foot forward.”
In addition to Chappelle, other residents of the village opposed the development plan for reasons that included concerns with traffic flow, problems with a proposed homeowner’s association and issues with water management. One of them, Matthew Kirk noted, “I think it’s important to kind of understand the framing and also understand how those products attract different homebuyers.”
Social media users criticized the popular comedian, who was trending on Twitter early Thursday.
“Dave Chapelle says he opposes ‘cancel culture’ and yet he just ‘cancelled’ affordable housing,” one user tweeted. “Turns out Dave Chapelle hates poor people almost as much as he hates trans women,” opined another.
Others referred to Chappelle as a NIMBY, an acronym for “Not in My Backyard.”
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