Politics & Government

Voters Guide | College Township Council


Term: Four years

Salary: $2,500

Question: Zoning regulations vary between municipalities. Do you believe there should be changes to the zoning regulations in College Township? If so, what changes would you recommend?

(Vote for not more than two.)


Lynn B. Herman, State College

Date of birth: Oct. 30, 1956

Education: Political science, B.A.; history B.A., 1978 (magna cum laude); Master of Public Administration, 1980, University of Pittsburgh

Occupation: Government relations/business development consultant

Qualifications: Pennsylvania state representative, 24 years; chairman, House Local Government Committee, 10 Years; Local Government Commission and Policy Committee, 10 Years; CBICC Legislative Committee; Centre County Natural Gas Task Force.

Answer to question: Changes to zoning regulations should be made as circumstances determine. Consideration of a zoning request persists with the future status of the Hilltop Mobile Home acreage. This is prime land in close proximity to College Avenue. I prefer that any proposal for a zoning request for this parcel take into consideration the need for workforce housing in the area, the need to provide a buffer zone for adjacent homeowners and nearby neighborhoods that will assure residents street safety and compatible living, and the desire to provide an opportunity for future creative development of the commercial sector facing College Avenue.

Steven J. Lyncha, State College

Date of birth: Dec. 11, 1973

Education: 1997, Penn State, B.S., Engineering.

Occupation: Professional civil engineer and department manager

Qualifications: College Township Planning Commission; Moshannon Valley Economic Development Partnership board of directors; Leadership Centre County Class of 2012; U.S. Army Reserve/PA Army National Guard veteran; Centre County PAWS volunteer; College Township homeowner for more than 10 years.

Answer to question: I do not believe that the zoning ordinance needs to be substantially changed. As developments are proposed, I’m sure there will be instances where certain zoning provisions will be tested and problems with the ordinance will be identified or sections will need updated based on new design standards. In those instances, the zoning ordinance should be changed through amendments. I do think that any provisions that inhibit smart growth and redevelopment should be carefully reviewed and changed if need be.


L. Eric Bernier, State College

Date of birth: Oct. 19, 1957

Education: State College High School, 1975; Penn State, 1975-79; U.S. Army Reserve, 1979-85.

Occupation: Service development manager, CATA

Qualifications: College Township Council (January 2013-present); College Township Planning Commission (1997-2012); member of numerous community/business/university related planning and project committees (CCMPO, Downtown Master Plan, Penn State Intermodal Transportation).

Answer to question: I believe that zoning is the single-most effective planning tool available to residents to guide and manage growth; both within the township and through shared zoning districts like College Township does with Patton Township. If “changes to the zoning regulations” refers to allowed uses within existing zoning districts, then to the extent that any of the current allowed uses within the specific district are no longer consistent with what the residents shared vision and goals are, then of course they should be reviewed and changes considered.

Term: Two years

Salary: $2,500

(Vote for one.)


Lynn B. Herman, State College

See above.


Carla Stilson, State College

Date of birth: Sept. 29, 1982

Education: 2004, Penn State, B.S. in secondary education

Occupation: Homemaker; property manager; childbirth educator and doula.

Answer to question: Zoning should be the fulcrum that keeps the various types of land uses in a healthy balance. It’s council’s job to keep that fulcrum in the right place. Currently, College Township’s zoning is keeping the township’s needs in balance, but that is changing as our population grows. Two areas that I believe beg a closer look are (1) how current zoning is alleviating or exacerbating our affordable housing crisis and (2) whether some neighborhoods might benefit from more mixed-use zoning.