Chappelle shows can go on after venue gets zoning change

Dozens speak during virtual board meeting

Dave Chappelle’s pop-up shows can continue at a location outside Yellow Springs in Miami Twp. following a request approved Thursday.

Chappelle, a well-known and popular comedian who lives in Yellow Springs, has been hosting his recent pop-up series titled “Dave Chappelle & Friends: A Talk with Punchlines” since early June, with events held twice a week, most weeks.

The events have been held at the Wirrig Pavilion, an outdoor performance venue off Route 68 on a property off Meredith Road.

A temporary use request filed by the owners of Wirrig Pavilion was approved Miami Twp. board of zoning appeals with two conditions: that the pavilion make every effort to reduce noise issues and that the property owner meet with neighbors weekly to allow them to discuss any noise issues or concerns.

Dozens of people spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting, with some from as far as Flint, Michigan, Baltimore, Maryland, and Miami Beach, Florida, who attended Chappelle’s shows. Locally, most residents voiced support, but there were concerns raised about the noise, including some foul language, as well as traffic and lighting.

Jeannamarie Cox, who lives nearby, told zoning officials that she can hear every event from her home but that traffic has not been an issue. She said Chappelle’s shows bring “economic juice” to the surrounding community and was in favor of the zoning variance.

Senay Semere of Yellow Springs said local government needs to be flexible “during these exceptional times” due to the coronavirus pandemic and urged support of the zoning change.

“This is not something permanent,” Semere said.

Stand-up comedian Mo Amer of Houston, Texas, also spoke in favor of the zoning change. He was among those who said the shows were a blueprint for how to have an event in the wake of COVID-19.

“This is going to be talked about for many years to come,” he said.

Among precautions taken at the show are temperature checks, the availability of COVID-19 testing, hand sanitizer. mask wearing and social distancing.

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