Not In Their Back Yard: These Celebrities Publicly Opposed Development Projects

In the realm of real estate development, even celebrities like Steph Curry, James Woods, and Dave Chappelle find themselves entangled in battles over development projects near their homes.

Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry, has opposed a plan to build a 16-unit apartment complex near his $30 million home in Atherton, California according to Los Angeles Times. Steph and his wife Ayesha Curry wrote a letter to the town council in January 2023, expressing concerns about their family’s privacy and safety. The town of Atherton is under pressure to meet state housing requirements and is considering increasing housing density by rezoning certain areas. This proposed development has sparked a debate about the conflict between the need for housing and the desires of wealthy homeowners in exclusive areas. According to NBC’s report, Atherton officials are moving forward with a controversial plan that would potentially increase housing density in many parts of the town, but there is still the public hearing process, which could take up to three years before a building permit would be issued.

In an article from, Actor James Woods opposed a construction project near his family’s lakefront property but lost his lawsuit against the Town of Exeter  Zoning  Board of  Review in 2023. The Board had granted permission for the construction of a two-bedroom home adjacent to Woods’ property. Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter ruled against Woods, stating that there was “substantial evidence” supporting the Board’s decision. Woods had argued that proper notice was not given and questioned the Board’s authority, but the judge rejected each argument. She noted that Woods had attended the hearings and waived his right to object to notice deficiencies. The court concluded that the proposed home would fit in with the area’s character and that the relief sought was the least necessary, despite Woods’ objections.

Also, comedian Dave Chappelle expressed his opposition to a local development project by Oberer Homes in February 2022. The project involved the construction of 140 residential units, which Chappelle believes could negatively impact his investments in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Chappelle had planned to open a restaurant and comedy club in the area but has threatened to withdraw these ventures due to his concerns. The Village Council failed in a tied 2–2 vote to approve a rezoning ordinance that would have allowed Oberer Homes to move forward with its project; a mix of single-family homes, duplexes, and townhomes totaling 140 units on a 55-acre site recently annexed into Yellow Springs according to Reason.

In real estate, it’s not uncommon for there to be conflict between different stakeholder interests, more specifically, individual property rights and broader community needs. If you’re a business owner, property owner, developer, or investor facing community pushback, we’d love to hear from you. You can reach us at 224-955-7095 or at

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