Chappelle ‘adamantly’ opposed to Yellow Springs housing proposal

Comedian threatens to pull own investments if project is approved

YELLOW SPRINGS — Comedian and Yellow Springs-area resident Dave Chappelle spoke out Monday night against the new housing development expected to go into the village.

At a village council meeting, Chappelle threatened to pull his business interests from Yellow Springs if the housing development goes through as planned.

Chappelle noted he has “invested millions of dollars in town” and said he was “adamantly opposed to it.”

“If you push this thing through, what I’m investing in is no longer applicable,” Chappelle said.

Council heard citizen comments on Monday on a rezoning of about 53 acres south of the village. The village incorporated the land over the summer.

Council had expected to vote on the rezoning Monday but chose to delay until their next meeting, Dec. 20.

Oberer Homes, a Miamisburg-based company that builds new developments, is planning to construct about 140 new homes on the land. Available homes in Yellow Springs have become increasingly expensive and scarce.

Chappelle has a plan for a restaurant called “Firehouse Eatery” and comedy club called, “Live from YS.” Chappelle’s company, Iron Table Holdings LLC, bought the former Miami Twp. Fire Station in December. The station is located at 225 Corry St.

WYSO, the National Public Radio affiliate located in Yellow Springs, plans to move into offices in the former Union Schoolhouse, which Iron Table Holdings owns, in 2023.

Chappelle did not say exactly why he opposed the new development, but Max Crome, an architect who works with Chappelle on his business interests in the village, said the development was designed to serve people from elsewhere in Greene County and did not serve the village.

“It’s clearly not designed for the benefit of the villagers,” Crome said.

Crome noted the many negative comments from those who have spoken publicly about the development. He also said he didn’t understand why council was considering the rezoning when Oberer could move ahead with their own, alternative project without council’s approval.

“What is that alternative?” Crome asked. “I don’t think any of us have seen it. I for one don’t think it could be much worse. I think it would be better.”

Several other village members spoke against the development as it currently stands. Council member Kevin Stokes recused himself from the conversation in his official capacity. He criticized the plan for access to the development off narrow Spillane Road and called for a second traffic study.

Council member Marianne MacQueen said while she still had concerns about the development, mainly about the homeowner’s association proposed, she said she hoped it would help address housing affordability in Yellow Springs by increasing the supply of housing.

“Clearly this development is not going to address all of the things that need to be addressed in terms of housing in Yellow Springs,” MacQueen said. “But it does address some of the needs we actually have.”

Oberer presented a plan laying out the development to the planning commission in November.

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