Dave Chappelle helped kill plans for an affordable housing development in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio, the Dayton Daily News reports. The comedian appeared at a council meeting this week and threatened to pull several businesses he’s developing for Yellow Springs if the town moved forward with the affordable housing development. Along with his company, Iron Table Holdings LLC, Chappelle is reportedly launching a restaurant called the Firehouse Eatery and a comedy club named Live From YS in the town.
“I cannot believe you would make me audition for you,” Chappelle said at the council meeting. “You look like clowns. I am not bluffing, I will take it all off the table.”
According to the Dayton Daily News, Yellow Springs was working with Oberer Homes on a new development project of single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses of which 1.75 acres would be set aside for more affordable housing. Chappelle joined other residents of the Yellow Springs community in opposing the plan. The council nixed the affordable housing component of the plan and agreed to construct 143 single-family homes with a starting price of approximately $300,000.
In a story on the development project published last December, Yellow Spring News (via Rolling Stone) reported that Chappelle lives close to the proposed location for the housing units. The comedian and other local residents who opposed the development “raised concerns over increased traffic, a lack of sidewalks and the general setup of the development.”
Chappelle said at a December council meeting that he was “adamantly opposed” to the plan, adding, “I’ve invested millions of dollars in town. If you push this thing through, what I’m investing in is no longer applicable. I would say that Oberer can buy all of this property from me if they want to be your benefactor because I will no longer want to.”
Carla Sims, spokesperson for Chappelle, issued the following statement on behalf of the comedian:
Without question, Dave Chappelle cares about Yellow Springs. He’s sewn into the fabric of the Village. The passion with which he delivered his comments during the Village Council meeting was just as evident as when he fought to create living-wage jobs with his famed ‘Summer Camp’ for residents during the height of the COVID pandemic.
Neither Dave nor his neighbors are against affordable housing, however, they are against the poorly vetted, cookie-cutter, sprawl-style development deal which has little regard for the community, culture and infrastructure of the Village.
The whole development deal, cloaked as an affordable housing plan, is anything but affordable. Three out of 143 lots would have been for ‘future’ affordable housing. The rest of the homes were to be priced between $250k and upwards of $600k. In Yellow Springs, and in many other places, that is not considered affordable housing. Instead, it’s an accelerant on the homogenization of Yellow Springs.