January 7, 2021
By: Claire Goodman – Houston Chronicle
Fulshear is officially the fastest-growing city in Texas, according to numbers from the 2020 U.S. Census.
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau were released Dec. 15 and published through the American Community Survey, a division of the Census Bureau responsible for disseminating the information.
The results were not surprising to Fulshear-area community leaders. This is the second year Fulshear has earned the title, and the explosive growth in the area has only continued to increase.
Only a decade ago, the population of Fulshear was 1,134 according to city demographic reports. Today, the population is more than 16,000 and climbing.
Fulshear Mayor Aaron Groff cited new development as an impetus to the city’s growth. To entice developers, the city created highly specific coordinated development ordinances.
“The CDO gives clear guidance to developers as to what it means to be in the city and what the city’s priorities are,” Groff said. “I think that’s helped spur some of that desire to come in.”
Don McCoy, president of the Fulshear-Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, added that Fulshear offers all the major conveniences of big cities while maintaining the verve of a smaller city.
“You have the best of both worlds,” McCoy said. “We have an old downtown district, but we also have a commercial district. There’s something for everybody.”
The chamber is working closely with city officials to enable local businesses to thrive, McCoy said.
“Businesses, both large and small, are coming to Fulshear and finding a city hall that cares about them and a chamber of commerce that wants to help them succeed.”
He also credited the highly rated school districts that serve Fulshear for making the city appealing to families.
“We’re split between two school districts — Lamar Consolidated ISD and Katy ISD — and those are top-notch school districts,” he said. “People are looking for a place to put their kids in good schools, and both are fantastic districts.”
The city’s geographic location also makes it a desirable choice for workers in the energy industry.
“It’s a straight shot up (Interstate 10) to get to the Energy Corridor,” Groff noted.
That easy commute has been bolstered by the recent road expansions in the area, he said.
“The expansion of (FM 1093) has helped immensely,” Groff said. “And now we’ve got the addition of the Heritage Parkway that’s come online that gives a north-south corridor between (FM roads) 1463 and 359; so it’s getting easier to navigate.”
Other projects to improve mobility include an extension of Bois D’Arc Lane and a widening of Wallace Street.
“The Bois D’Arc extension will give direct access to 1093, and the extension of Wallace Street will make the street so that it’s truly two lanes and can ease traffic flow,” Groff said.
And while development in the area is critical to the success of the area, city leaders are committed to maintaining the “small town feel” that makes Fulshear appealing to families.
As part of that commitment, the city has invested in a master trails plan and dedicated natural spaces.
“There’s a strong desire to continue to have a little bit of that natural feel that Fulshear has,” Groff said. “Fulshear has embraced nature, and I think that’s appealing.”
Looking to the future, city leaders are working to maintain Fulshear’s charm while welcoming new growth.
“Our priority is continuing to work with developers and strategic partners to make sure that when they come in and do development that they create the environment that Fulshear residents see that we can hold on to some of that small town charm,” Groff said.