Winning a Community Over to New Ideas

January 7th, 2012
Article #491

Read an excerpt from this article below. You can download the full article by using the link at the end of the excerpt.
photo of Thomas Hylton
Thomas Hylton with downtown Pottstown, Pennsylvania behind him.

Not many people join a planning commission with a headful of ideas about  improving zoning, but Thomas Hylton did. More surprising, in a few years’ time, Hylton had talked his community, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, into rewriting its entire zoning code and instituting a whole new way of judging proposed developments.

He did this in three ways: by presenting his ideas so convincingly that it calmed what might otherwise have been a furious opposition; by bringing a unique set of resources to his cause; and by spending an extraordinary amount of time and attention in winning over citizens and elected officials. In doing so, Hylton offers a textbook case of how planning commissioners – and others with little or no formal power – can be change agents in their communities.

End of excerpt

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