2008_03_mlbburden.jpgCity Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden was called a "rich, rich, rich horrible person" by an opponent of 125th Street rezoning. The City Planning commission approved rezoning for the boulevard, which means a 21-story building called Harlem Park, which includes new headquarters for Major League Baseball TV, will be one of the many new developments for the neighborood.

Burden said the commission wanted to "maintain and enhance 125th Street's unique and varied character and its identity as Harlem's 'Main Street.'" (You can read the rezoning plans here.) But in spite of the commission's incentives for developers to include affordable housing and room for arts organizations, some in the community are worried that further development will drive out the longtime residents.

The Daily News reports 71 small businesses "could be squeezed out" and one store owner said, "They want it to look like 86th St. It's not good for us small businesses." But another person disagreed, "I think it will boost the economy and become a great place for up and coming artists, entrepreneurs, writers, choreographers, fashion and entertainment people."

One outspoken opponent, Michael Henry Adams, an architect and historian, yelled, "Uncle Tom sellout!" to the commission members, and railed at Burden, "You're a rich, rich, rich horrible person. You're destroying our communities. You're a rich, rich socialite. You're a rich, rich socialite. How dare you! You're destroying Harlem. You're getting rid of all the black people." Adams was ejected; Burden is very socially connected.