"You Look Like Clowns" Chappelle Tells Town Council He'll Pull Money Out If They Approve Affordable Housing Deal

The internet is in something of an uproar over a recent town hall meeting in the small Ohio village of Yellow Springs that Dave Chappelle calls home. In a short clip widely circulated on social media, we see the comedian, 48, adamantly tell council members that if they were to go through with a proposed development deal that includes an affordable housing plan, he would be pulling his investments from the town.

"I don't know why the village council would be afraid of litigation from a 24-million-dollar a year company and not a 65 million-dollar-a-year company." Chappelle said, referring to his own numerous investments in development in Yellow Springs "I am not bluffing. I will take it all off the table." He added before thanking the council and abruptly stepping away.

And his threat appears to have been successful; the developer, Oberer Homes, failed to gain approval fter the five-person council essentially voted against its own plan with a 2-2 gridlock and fifth person abstaining. This reverts it to a previously approved plan that goes forth with building -- albeit without the provision for affordable housing and primarily single-family homes at a higher price point.

This hasn't sat well with many online, who have branded Chappelle's threat to 'take his business elsewhere' as "Karen-esque" and a far cry from the Chappelle who years ago famously turned down a multi-million dollar deal from Comedy Central and went on a long-lasting hiatus.

But, whether by design or by happenstance, Chappelle was unable to articulate his reasons for opposing the development in the clip being circulated. He certainly did bring down the money-hammer to kill the plan, but, in previous town halls regarding the initiative back in late 2021, Chappelle testified he felt the plan wouldn't benefit residents of the town; that, without what he felt were more important developments -- like a schoolhouse which Yellow Springs currently lacks -- they wouldn't be able to attract younger families to the town which has an average age of 49.

Other sources have reportedly told news outlets that Oberer Homes, whose plan is essentially adjacent to Chappelle's home and land, have been using the development's proximity to his home as part of a selling point for the property -- though there isn't any clear record of this anywhere online. It should also be pointed out, to be fair, that Chappelle is only one among many Yellow Springs residents who oppose the plan.

The latest rejection also does not mean that the land, which was annexed by Oberer in early 2021, does not go unbuilt-upon. Indeed, it only means that development plans revert to a previously approved plan that comprised of single-family homes hovering around the 300k pricepoint, as opposed to a variety of home-styles that included a section of land "that could be used for affordable housing." One argument made by residents opposing the plan is that the land provision for affordable housing was of poor quality and likely useless.

Chappelle currently has several redevelopment projects in the town, with both a new office/studio compound being built as well as a comedy club called Firehouse Eatery which he is converting from a defunct firehouse purchased in 2020.
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