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Ohio City Council Votes Down Affordable Housing After Dave Chappelle Threatens To Pull His Business

Ohio City Council Votes Down Affordable Housing After Dave Chappelle Threatens To Pull His Business
Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

The village of Yellow Springs, located in Greene County, Ohio has voted down its own affordable housing proposal after comedian Dave Chapelle, a longtime resident, threatened to pull his business from the town.

Yellow Springs City Council voted 2-2 this week not to proceed with its own proposal. The village council's proposal would have approved the construction of 64 single-family homes, 52 duplexes and 24 townhomes on a 53-acre area with the lowest prices for any of the units starting at "mid-$200,000."

But developer Oberer Homes also promised 1.75 acres to be added for "future affordable housing" to be built. The prices for the still unplanned affordable housing were not included in the proposed changes.

The village asked for the development to add affordable housing, including an area the village would later be able to develop into affordable housing.

The village council and Oberer had worked together to produce a plan that would include duplexes and townhouses and undeveloped land. Instead, the area will revert to the previously approved plan of 143 single-family homes that will go on the market for at least $300,000.

Chapelle chastised the city council's members the night before the vote, threatening to pull his businesses which he valued at $65 million.

You can hear what he said in the video below.

Chapelle expressed his disdain for having to "audition" before the city council, likely referring to needing to attend the meeting in the first place and insisted he was not "bluffing" when he said he would scrap his plans to open a restaurant and a comedy club in the area.

He said:

“I cannot believe you would make me audition for you. You look like clowns. I am not bluffing, I will take it all off the table. That’s all, thank you.”

The news the affordable housing proposal failed comes amid a nationwide conversation about inequality amplified, at least in part, by a prohibitively expensive housing market.

Many criticized Chapelle in response, characterizing his behavior as an example of NIMBYism, or "Not In My Backyard," a general opposition to the locating of something considered undesirable in one's own neighborhood while raising no objections to similar developments elsewhere.




However not everyone was critical of Chappelle citing there was more to the story.

According to the story in the Dayton Daily News, citizens of Yellow Springs voiced concerns as soon as the council began their own private negotiations with the developer after the original plan was approved.

Villagers cited traffic flow, problems with a proposed homeowner’s association, issues with water management and that the "council had not included them in the process with Oberer."

The backlash online eventually earned Chapelle defense from right-wing Ben Shapiro.

This isn't the first time Chapelle has spoken out against the development.

In December 2021, Chapelle told city council members he is "adamantly opposed" to the revised proposal, saying his investments in the town, valued in the millions, would be "no longer applicable" if the proposal went forward.

In addition to Chapelle's plans to open a restaurant and comedy club, his company owns an old school house it previously announced would be renovated and used as a space for the offices of the National Public Radio affilate in Yellow Springs WYSO. He has two other redevelopment plans in the works, including the renovation of the former fire station.