Fairview history: Residents incorporated town to fend off McKinney annexation

Town of Fairview Fairview’s water tower, built in 1965, was the first big project the town built. Although the water tower is no longer in use, it still stands along Stacy Road.[/caption]

Nearly six decades ago, residents of the area now known as Fairview had a decision to make that would shape the development of the region to this day.

The land they lived on was unincorporated, and a group of 33 concerned residents in 1958 proposed to form a municipality to keep local residents in control of their government, according to John Godwin, a former Fairview town manager who wrote a book on the town’s history.

“The deal was, they were concerned that they were going to get annexed by McKinney, and they didn’t want that to happen,” Godwin said. “So they had an election.”

Fifty votes were cast at the Fairview Grocery—48 in favor and two against the measure of incorporation. A Collin County judge signed an order to incorporate the town of Fairview on May 12, 1958.

The task of governing in the young municipality was not a glamorous one. There was no town hall at first, Godwin said—council members met in homes or in the local church, grocery or auto parts store.

In its first big project, the town awarded a contract in 1965 to build a water tower on Stacy Road, Godwin said. That water tower and the water system they built to accommodate it would serve 136 homes and businesses, he said.

That water tower is still standing today along Stacy Road, although it has not been in use for years, Godwin said.

“The deal was, they were concerned that they were going to get annexed by McKinney, and they didn’t want that to happen.”

— John Godwin, former town manager

For the first 15 years of its existence, Fairview operated without any paid staff, according to Godwin’s research. The first town employee was a part-time town secretary hired in 1973, he said. That same year, the town created a volunteer fire department and established its first zoning ordinance.

Fairview’s ordinances have produced more rural-feeling residences than those of its larger suburban neighbors. The town has intentionally restricted developers from building on residential lots smaller than 1 acre per property.

And that rural feel, Godwin said, probably would not have been preserved if Fairview had not successfully incorporated in 1958.

“It absolutely would have been different,” Godwin said of the prospect of an annexation by McKinney. “It would have just been a bunch of other subdivisions.”