COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio comedian Dave Chappelle has reportedly purchased more property in his hometown of Yellow Springs from a group that sought to build a housing development on the land.
A recent article on YSNEWS.com, the online edition of the Yellow Springs News, noted that Carla Sims, Chappelle’s publicist, confirmed the actor acquired at least a portion of the land from the Miamisburg-based Oberer Land Developers Ltd. The article also states that “the Greene County Auditor’s Geographic Information Systems website confirms that at least 19 acres of land previously part of Oberer’s development plans are now linked to Iron Table Holdings LLC, which is owned by Chappelle.”
According to the article, the auditor’s website indicates that Oberer originally purchased 15 parcels, totaling 52 acres, in November 2020 from Ken and Betheen Struewing for $1,715,000.
The company’s first plan was to build a residential neighborhood with around 140 single-family homes and then sought to rezone the land to allow for townhomes and duplexes. The proposed rezoning would have also included a donation of an acre back to the village for affordable housing.
In February 2022, Chappelle came under criticism after a video of him speaking out against the proposed housing project at a Yellow Springs Village Council meeting was circulated online.
“I do have many business interests in town. I’ve invested millions of dollars in town. If you push this thing through, what I’m investing is no longer applicable,” he said in the video.
However, the Netflix star was not alone in his disdain for Oberer’s plans. Details of the rezoning meeting where the planned unit development was voted down revealed many of the comedian’s neighbors had concerns about the project. Some of those opposed challenged the actual affordability of the proposed dwellings.
“The community I know has been slowly priced out,” said village resident Jonny Dread. “I think we have enough intelligence among us; we can do better.”
Chappelle, through Sims, quickly responded to the national controversy by issuing a statement to CNN that read in part: “Dave Chappelle didn’t kill affordable housing. Concerned residents and a responding Village Council ‘killed’ a half-baked plan which never actually offered affordable housing.”
Sims also wrote in the CNN statement, “Neither Dave nor his neighbors are against affordable housing, however, they are against the poorly vetted, cookie-cutter, sprawl-style development deal which has little regard for the community, culture and infrastructure of the Village.”
In April 2022, Village Manager Josué Salmerón, revealed the sale of the land at a Yellow Springs Development Corporation meeting and added, “There is no indication currently that the [Oberer] project is moving forward.”