Dave Chappelle voices concern over Yellow Springs housing development

DAYTON — At their meeting on Dec. 6, the Yellow Springs Village Council discussed their plans to rezone over 50 acres of property located north of East Hyde Road and West of Spillan Road. The area would become a housing development of single-family duplexes and townhomes executed by Oberer Land Developers.

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One citizen was very vocal about their opposition — comedian and Yellow Springs resident Dave Chappelle.

Chappelle told the council that besides living behind the proposed development he has “many business interests in town”.

“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 If you push this thing through, what I’m investing in is no longer applicable.”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.”

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Chappelle has an office in downtown Yellow Springs and at least two redevelopment projects in the works, including the former fire house on Correy St. that his company bought to covert into a comedy club and restaurant. Additionally, Chappelle’s company owns an old school house on Dayton St. There have been plans to renovate it and for the National Public Radio affilate in Yellow Springs, WYSO, to move their offices and studios there.

Chappelle said if the proposal does go through, Oberer can come and buy all his property.

News Center 7′s John Bedell spoke with Josue Salmeron, Yellow Springs Village Manager, about Chappelle’s comments. Salmeron said he was saddened to hear that the comedian would consider withdrawing his investments over this.

“Certainly none of what we’re doing is in any way or to hurt Dave in any way. We’re looking out, I’m looking about. I have a responsibility to look out for the interest of the entire community,” Salmeron said.

Salmeron said he has had other discussions with Chappelle about this issue. The development, Salmeron said, is aimed at addressing a house problem in Yellow Springs. Salmeron said there is a high demand, but low inventory for house in the village.

“So we need to do something about our housing stock and our housing affordability. And this is tailored toward that,” Salmeron said.

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At the public meeting earlier this week Marianne MacQueen, Yellow Springs Village Councilmember, said the development would address some of the housing problems in the village.

“And clearly this development is not going to address all of the things that need to be addressed in terms of housing in Yellow Springs, but it does address some of the needs that we actually have,” MacQueen said.

According to Salmeron, the village council will meet on the proposal in January. The council has asked for a traffic and environmental study on the proposal. And between now and then, village council will meet with the developer to talk about an alternative plan if this one does not go through.

News Center 7 is working to learn more about why Chappelle is opposed to this plan.

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