Meet the Candidates: Philip Augur

I’m running for a seat on Durham’s Planning and Zoning Commission. In 1989, I moved to Durham, where my father had built a home “on the mountain” on land he bought in the late 50s — land that reminded him of the Northford of his youth, where he, and I, and five prior generations were raised.

My father and his business partners developed numerous housing tracts and commercial plots in the region, including some here in Durham. Watching them discuss design, regulations and what they intended to say before various Planning and Zoning Commissions, exposed me to the developer’s perspective.

I graduated from Dartmouth College in 1995 and have worked in the reinsurance industry since, always based in Connecticut, with one year secondment to Zurich, Switzerland. My two daughters are students in Region 13 and my fiancée recently moved to town.

Growing up in Northford there were two small family dairies within walking distance; I worked weekends, summers, and mornings before high school at a commercial dairy farm in Wallingford. I enjoyed bringing that farm’s registered Holstein cows to area fairs. Our annual showing season always culminated in the crème de la crème: our beloved Durham Fair.

After returning from abroad, I began serving the community in various roles, starting with the Inland Wetlands & Watercourses Agency, where I have been an Alternate since 2014. I was elected to the RSD13 Board of Education in 2016 and served one three-year term. Also, I have been a member of the Conservation Commission since 2018, and was elected Chair this year.

I was elected an Alternate to the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2019, and have been seated at numerous meetings. P&Z has been working to adapt in ways that attempt to respect the agricultural heritage of our town, while allowing new ways for people and businesses to thrive. Great examples of this are the establishment of Farm Vineyard / Farm Breweries regulations and approval of a special permit for an applicant to host events upon their parcel that has an agricultural use.

In these discussions, as with all, I strive to be respectful of the past while not pedantically tied to “how it used to be.” Durham needs to move forward, honoring its past while building its future. I respectfully request readers’ votes to allow me to do that as a full member of Planning and Zoning.

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