Living In Fairfax: Outsiders know it's home Frisch's Mainliner, but claim to fame is schools, jobs

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The Village of Fairfax

County: Hamilton
Mayor: Carson Shelton
Population: 1,938
Founded: July 1955
Claim to fame: Location of the first Frisch's Mainliner Restaurant, built in 1939.

Fairfax is a small community made up of many long-time residents; the kind of place where it’s quite common for generation after generation to grow up, buy homes and raise their own families, according to Mayor Carson Shelton.

Although it’s home to fewer than 2,000 residents, Fairfax’s daytime population expands to nearly 18,000, as workers pour in to business and industrial areas along Red Bank Road, Wooster Pike and Virginia Avenue.

"We abut the city of Cincinnati on our northern and western borders. Because of our convenient east/west connection to downtown Cincinnati via U.S. 50 (Wooster Pike) and the north/south connection to I-71 via Red Bank Road, Fairfax is a true crossroads community that has a small and friendly residential area in an excellent school district (Mariemont City Schools), but also attracts many businesses that help to sustain our economic and financial vitality,” Shelton said.

Chandra Buswell, 41, moved to the village from Vermont 10 years ago with her husband Justin and four children (pictured above).

"We were looking for a community that had good schools with a close driving proximity to downtown while still having a walkable feel," she said. "Fairfax had all of those benefits. The houses are smaller, but we found that the price range made it possible to add on and make the house our own. We love our neighbors and enjoy block parties and sharing food from our small gardens."

Buswell likes Fairfax so much, she decided to get a job with the village.

"When I first moved here, I volunteered for the school's Parent Teacher Organization and to do my part to make Fairfax the type of community I wanted for my kids," she said. "Now, I have a part-time job for the village putting on monthly community activities like the Fairfax Fall Festival, Concert in the Park, and annual Chili Cook-off."

Fairfax grows

Anyone who drives Wooster Pike can see it: The development east of Frisch’s that is part of the Wooster Pike Project. A portion of the site will be part of a cul-de-sac to be constructed on Lonsdale Street. The remaining portion will house a landscaped municipal parking lot to serve the business corridor on Wooster.

The barrier near Midas Muffler will support a bus pull-off similar to the ones near Frisch’s and Fifth Third Bank. The topography in that area required installation of a retaining wall and railing. There will be another bus pull-off constructed in front of PNC Bank. That means a total of four bus pull-offs – two in each direction – on Wooster.

The Subway property foreclosed with its previous owner; however, the new owner is going to reopen the restaurant as a Subway again. The entire building is being gutted and rebuilt with a new design.

A portion of Fairfax’s residential area is located within a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood plain (Little Duck Creek). Due to decades of development upstream, FEMA designated a portion of the village south of Murray Road to be in a flood plain because it is prone to flash flooding after heavy rainfalls.

Seventeen homes have been acquired within the flood plain since 2001, and the village hopes to purchase seven more homes in the flood plain beginning in 2015.

Meet the mayor

Born in Hazard, Ky., Carson Shelton and his family moved to Madison Place when he was nine years old. He later attended Withrow High School. In 1982, Shelton moved to neighboring Fairfax where he and his wife Judy have raised three children. 

Shelton has worked for Fives (formerly Cincinnati Milacron) for 42 years as a machinist. 

Elected as a Fairfax councilman in 1993, he served for 13 years and was vice mayor. When former Mayor Ted Shannon retired in 2011, Shelton ran for mayor and was elected to the position effective Jan. 1, 2012. The mayor’s annual salary is $4,000.

(Photos courtesy of the Village of Fairfax and resident Chandra Buswell)

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