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Stafford, TX

Located 15 miles southwest of Houston, the city of Stafford, Texas, is located partly in Fort Bend County and partly in Harris County. While the settled area got its start as a plantation in the early 1800s, the population did not flourish until well into the 20th century. The city was finally incorporated in 1956, and today it has approximately 20,000 residents.

Stafford has an average annual rainfall of almost 50 inches. Temperatures range from an average low of 42 degrees in January to an average high of 94 degrees in July. Because it is near the Gulf of Mexico, Stafford has a very humid climate.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Stafford was included in Fortune magazine's 2008 list of "100 best places to live and launch" for small businesses.

The city has become a popular place for businesses to set up operations because it charges almost no property tax and has the lowest sales tax rate in the Houston metropolitan area. Many large and small corporations have offices and plants in Stafford. Employers include:

  • Nippon Oil
  • Kosia Oil Field Technologies
  • Texas Instruments
  • Tyco
  • United Parcel Services

A large medical community has also established offices in Stafford.

Fountains on the Lake is a 74-acre retail center with 589,201 square feet of retail space. The center has a mix of both big box stores and smaller retail establishments.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Stafford accommodates about 6,300 houses, out of which, a little less than 5,900 are occupied. The ratio of renter-occupied houses for the city is 54 percent, as compared to 36 percent for the state.

The walkability in Stafford is excellent, and many grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops and bars are within a short distance from the center of the city.

The city's popular residential areas include Braeburn Gardens to the north, Dove Country to the South, and Arias to the west.

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

  • The Stafford Center hosts concerts, dance competitions, festivals, consumer shows, theater productions, weddings, meetings, and major outdoor events.
  • The Fort Bend Theatre, an active community theater group, moved from Sugar Land, Texas, to Stafford in 1998.
  • Fountains on the Lake is a 74-acre retail center, with 589,201 square feet of retail space. The center has a mix of both big box stores and smaller retail establishments.

FAMILY FUN

Five city parks cover 35 acres of Stafford. The parks feature playground equipment, gazebos, a lake, picnic tables, jogging trails, and competitive sports fields. Stafford's parks include:

  • First Street Park
  • Rubin Park
  • Gordon Fountain Lake Park
  • Vaccaro Manor Park
  • Stafford City Park

GOVERNMENT

In Stafford, the mayor and six city council members make up the government, with various departmental directors reporting directly to them. Stafford's state representation comes from the 26th and 27th districts of the House of Representatives and the 13th and 17th districts of the Texas Senate.

EDUCATION

Stafford has the only municipal school district in the state, meaning that the schools are controlled by the city government and not by a separate school board. Grades 1 through 12 are located on the same grounds. The average class size ranges from 15 to 18 students.

The Houston Community College System has a campus in Stafford. Stafford residents are also within driving distance of many Houston area institutions of higher learning, including:

  • University of Houston
  • University of St. Thomas
  • Rice University
  • Texas Southern University

RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY

  • There are more than five churches and other religious institutions operating in the seven square miles of Stafford.
  • The first traditional Hindu mandir, or temple, constructed of stone and marble in the United States was built in Stafford. The 25,620-square-foot BAPS Shree Swaminarayan Mandir was built in accordance with ancient Hindu architectural manuscripts and is constructed of marble from Italy and limestone from Turkey. The stone was shipped to India, where it was hand carved, and then shipped to Stafford. Around 33,000 separate pieces were assembled on-site like a giant three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.

SPORTS TEAMS

Stafford residents cheer on Houston's sports teams, which include:

  • Football: Houston Texans
  • Baseball: Houston Astros
  • Basketball: Houston Rockets
  • Hockey: Houston Aeros (American Hockey League)
  • Soccer: Houston Dynamo

LOCAL MEDIA

  • The Fort Bend Star is the official newspaper for Stafford.
  • Stafford's municipal educational television station is S-METV, Comcast Cable Channel 16. The station broadcasts city council meetings and various educational programming.
  • Stafford is served by the Houston television and radio station market.