Dave Chappelle has had an outsize influence on Yellow Springs, Ohio, in recent years, attracting A-list celebrities to outdoor comedy shows and parties he organized in the village, which is home to some 3,700 people. But this week, he exchanged glitz and glamour for the staid procedures of a Village Council meeting.
Mr. Chappelle attended the three-hour virtual meeting on Monday to oppose a new housing development that had been set to include affordable housing. His appearance at the meeting has raised questions about why one of the most famous comedians in the world is involved with a small-town zoning battle.
What actually happened on Monday?
The Village Council held a meeting to allow residents to comment on an update to an existing plan for a housing development before the Council voted on the changes.
The revised plan would have included duplexes, townhouses and 1.75 acres of land reserved for affordable housing in a development that was originally going to include only 143 single-family homes, according to a memo from Brian Housh, the Village Council president.
Mr. Housh voted in support of the revisions, which the memo said would put the starting price for homes in the development in the mid-$200,000s, down from the mid-$300,000s.
The Council worked with Oberer Homes, the developer, to make the changes. But on Monday, the changes fell through in a 2-to-2 vote, with one member recusing himself because of a potential conflict of interest. As a result, the original single-family home plan stood.
Monday was not the first time Mr. Chappelle shared his concerns.
Opposition to the development has been bubbling in recent months, with residents expressing concerns about how it would affect the community’s traffic, environment and culture. Among those residents was Mr. Chappelle, who, at a meeting in December, said he would pull his investments in the village if the deal went through, according to The Yellow Spring News.
His investments include a planned restaurant and comedy club that the Yellow Springs Planning Commission approved in September.
George Oberer Jr., the chief executive of Oberer Homes, said on Thursday that the development borders a home that Mr. Chappelle owns. Mr. Oberer said he had spoken with Mr. Chappelle about the plan in 2020 “out of respect,” since people are often unhappy to learn that land near their home is being developed. Mr. Oberer also said he …….