When he’s not embroiled in controversy over his recent Netflix stand-up specials or speaking about cancel culture, comedian Dave Chappelle directs his attention to shooting down affordable housing projects in the town he lives in.
According to the Dayton Daily News, a residential development plan included affordable housing in the small town of Yellow Springs, Ohio–which has a population of a little over 3,800 people. Oberer Homes and the village of Yellow Springs initially worked together to produce a plan that would include duplexes and affordable housing along with single-family homes in a 53-acre area.
Yellow Springs residents, along with Chappelle, expressed concerns about the plans at a town council meeting Monday night. Chappelle also threatened to pull his potential businesses from the village, including a plan for a restaurant called “Firehouse Eatery” and a comedy club called “Live from YS” if plans went through.
From the Dayton Daily News:
“I cannot believe you would make me audition for you,” Chappelle said as he took to the mic, referencing Oberer Homes, with which the council planned to build the development. “You look like clowns.”
“I am not bluffing,” Chappelle continued during the council meeting. “I will take it all off the table.”
The council voted down the plan 2-2, so Oberer Homes can move forward with development–just not with the affordable housing plan. This isn’t the first time Chappelle has voiced concerns about the project. In a December council meeting, the comedian even pushed to withdraw his investments.
“I just want to say I am adamantly opposed to it,” Chappelle said. “I have invested millions of dollars in town. If you push this thing through, what I’m investing in is no longer applicable.”
The average age in Yellow Springs is 49 years old according to Chappelle. He also said without a school, they will not be able to attract young families.
“The changes are inevitable,” Chappelle said. “But we do have a decision on what they will or could be.”
Residents opposed to the revised plan raised concerns about traffic and water management. One citizen’s board member named Mathew Kirk was initially on board with the project, changed his stance. He argued that “the plan was really two projects rather than one: a single-family home development next to a condo development.”
“I think it’s important to kind of understand the framing and also understand how those products attract different homebuyers,” Kirk said.