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Dave Chappelle Becomes Instant Small Town Hero After Buying 52 Acres in Rural Ohio

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Comedian Dave Chappelle has become even more of a hometown hero after apparently blocking an unpopular housing development.

Chappelle, who lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio, recently bought 52 acres that were critical to completing a 140-home development, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.

Although Yellow Springs Village Manager Josue Salmeron said missing out on a chance for growth might hurt the tiny village — with a population of less than 4,000 — many residents are overjoyed.

Signs reading “Thanks Dave!” are in shop windows, according to the Daily Mail.

Samantha Logan, who has one of those signs in front of the home she shares with her husband, James Barber, told the Daily Mail she put up the sign because Chappelle did the right thing.

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“It’s there because absolutely we support what Dave has done in buying that land,” she said. “He has done so much for our neighborhood and invested so much in our town that we felt it was the least we could do.”

Logan said the housing development plan was flawed.

‘Putting 140 houses out there probably wasn’t the best thing for our peace and quiet,” she said, adding, “On the other hand, we feel there was not enough provision for low-cost housing in that plan.”

The plan called for duplexes to be sold at around $250,000; single-family homes would have been priced at $600,000, the Daily Mail reported.

Is this another reason to like Dave Chappelle?

Chappelle did not dwell on the subject when he was walking about the village recently, according to the Daily Mail.

“Ah, I’d rather not talk about that. I’m just out and about in the village, I’ve really nothing to say,” he told the newspaper.

Chappelle’s publicist Carla Sims explained that the “cookie-cutter” homes planned were not in keeping with the rest of the village.

“The houses they were going to build were not affordable to the people who live in the village,” she told the Daily Mail.

“It was going to attract interlopers. Dave was trying to make sure that the people that live in Yellow Springs can stay and afford to live in Yellow Springs. This development was not going to do that,” she said.

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Sims said the village has a unique culture that Chappelle engendered and is protecting.

“Yellow Springs is a small village, seven blocks left and right and you’re out of it. It’s even a little bit of a hippy town,” she told the newspaper. “It’s a unique space and once developers got wind of the culture that Dave was creating in the village, it became apparent they thought, ‘hey, we can make money here.’”

“Dave is not at all against building in Yellow Springs and neither is the community. They want to see development that is aligned with maintaining the culture of the village,” she said.

“Most of the people in the town, you’ll see, they are older. The majority of that town is 50 years and older. And Dave is trying to encourage younger people to move into the town. He wants better schools and to bring younger families into the town. This was an arts community, now it’s turning into a retirement community,” she said.

She said Chappelle “wants to have a place he can live comfortably. And not have to duck and dive.”

Salmeron, the village manager, said the village needs development.

“When you have a limited housing supply you become an exclusive community. Yellow Springs is becoming an exclusive community,” he said, adding “We are getting older, our community on average is older than the median age of Ohio residents. It’s wealthier and it’s whiter.”

“Those demographic trends are not going to change unless we offer new opportunities for individuals to move into town or be able to grow in town,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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