Our Town: Fairfax growing while working to keep its small town charm

In the past 20 years, thousands of people have moved in, and now call the community Home Sweet Home.
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 6:21 PM CDT
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FAIRFAX, Iowa (KCRG) - In the past 20 years, thousands of people have moved to Fairfax, and now call the community, ‘Home Sweet Home.’

“I have lived in Fairfax almost 30 years, which by Fairfax standards is still a newcomer,” said Mayor Jo Ann Beer with a laugh.

The same things that brought her to town years ago are still bringing people to the community now.

“The small town charm, yet we’re just seven miles from the Cedar Rapids downtown,” she said.

Bruce Sevig is one of the managers at Iowa Lot Development LLC.

“The Highway 100 bypass is one of the biggest things that are bringing people to the area people that work outside of Cedar Rapids,” he said.

The town of Fairfax grew from 800 people to 2,800 people in just 20 years. That includes the newest of three major developments, Heartland Heights.

“Fairfax is very easy to work with, it’s a small community, pretty much everyone knows everyone, we grew up in this area,” Sevig said. “Our family has been developing in Fairfax and the surrounding area since about 2000 starting with my dad.”

Irie Homes is one of around a dozen builders to put up homes in Heartland Heights.

“Our tagline is Peace Within, Irie Homes,” said Mark Prahm. “Some of the biggest compliments we’ve got is that when people move in the home they feel that sense of peace.”

The first house of the development was built in 2017. Now there are around 120 homes there. Fairfax feeds into the College Community School District.

“Fairfax has always been good about controlled growth, and we have always controlled our growth,” said Sevig. “We don’t just go to grow, we want to do things right and make sure it’s a nice area for everyone involved, homeowners, builders, the city.”

“The challenge with this, is we want to retain our small town character while at the same time doing smart growth,” explained the mayor.

Town amenities are growing too.

“When I moved to Fairfax back in the 90s, we had one park, city park,” Beer said. “For a community our size, our parks and our sports facilities are just outstanding.”

All making it home sweet home.