Zoning board approves temporary variance for Chappelle comedy show venue

Local News

YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio (WDTN) – Dave Chappelle’s popup comedy shows in Greene County were in jeopardy Thursday before a zoning board approved a temporary use variance for Wirrig Pavilion, with a few conditions.

Four times a week, the comedian, along with a host of other celebrity performers headline “Dave Chappelle and Friends” in an intimate, socially distanced affair at the Wirrig Pavilion. Since the shows started in May, they have drawn hundreds to the Village from across the country, but neighbors aren’t happy, saying the event doesn’t pass Miami Township zoning laws.

Tickets sell quietly but quickly with many guidelines in place to encourage social distancing and safety.

Documents from Greene County Public Health show Chappelle’s team outlining their plans for safe shows. But it was recently decided by the Miami Township zoning director that the pavilion is zoned for agriculture and residence, not business or commercial events.

The owners of the Wirrig Pavilion applied for a temporary use variance to allow the shows to continue through October 4.

The zoning board heard public comment from several local and out-of-state citizens. Most who spoke Thursday evening commented on the economic benefits and general positivity brought to the community through the shows, while others voiced concerns over noise and traffic.

After an executive session, the board approved the temporary variance, under two conditions: 1) every effort must be made to reduce noise on an ongoing basis and 2) the venue owner must offer to meet with neighbors once a week to discuss concerns.

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