Chappelle ‘reevaluating’ projects in Yellow Springs after housing moves forward

Spokeswoman says Chappelle doesn’t oppose housing, but opposes this development.

YELLOW SPRINGS — Dave Chappelle’s publicist, Carla Sims, said many of his development plans here are being reevaluated after Yellow Springs village council voted against rezoning a 53-acre development in Yellow Springs for higher-density homes, though his plans for Union Schoolhouse are still moving forward. Chappelle publicly opposed the rezoning.

“Unfortunately, the Council’s decision to open its doors to developers who compromise the unique character and culture of the Village is completely inconsistent with Dave’s development plans and their otherwise shared vision,” Sims said. “In fact, the new development strikes a blow against the very attributes that make Yellow Springs so attractive to visitors and residents.”

Chappelle owns the old Union Schoolhouse, where WYSO is supposed to move in 2023, and that plan is not on hold due to promises that Chappelle made to WYSO.

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Chappelle’s company, Iron Table Holdings, bought the old Miami Twp. Fire Station in December 2020 and plans to turn it into a combination restaurant and comedy club. The station is located at 225 Corry St.

Sims and Max Crome, Chappelle’s architect and a Yellow Springs native, said it would make more sense for the village to develop existing village-owned land set aside for affordable housing, add units to properties like in-law homes or cottages on their properties, and evaluate existing structures in the village that could be transformed into housing.

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“We are eager to see new and particularly affordable housing in Yellow Springs, with a priority on apartments,” said Crome. “We also support any development that will consciously increase racial and social-economic diversity.

“It’s important that we create a housing model that enables people to work and live in Yellow Springs,” Crome added. “We aren’t interested in creating a bedroom community where the majority of people just live/sleep here and work elsewhere.”

Sims said Chappelle’s company owns multiple rental units. Some tenants weren’t charged rent for up to six months beginning in March 2020 due to COVID-19, Sims said. He is currently working on converting a historic home in Yellow Springs into three housing units, though that project is also being reevaluated.

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The developers of the housing project, Oberer, say they still plan to build homes in Yellow Springs on the 53 acres south of the village. The alternative to the planned rezoning that council voted down is 143 single-family homes, beginning at $300,000. The rezoning plan would have included duplexes, townhomes and single-family homes, starting at around $200,000, according to the village. About two acres for affordable housing would have also been donated but developed later.

Oberer is expected to send Yellow Springs a plan for the updated development, which is legal under current zoning, on Friday. Clearing the area has already begun, said George Oberer Jr., the owner of Oberer Homes.

Village zoning manager Denise Swinger said the village would review the plans but could only deny the plans if they do not conform to code. If the plans do conform to code and village council denies the plans, Oberer could file a complaint.

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