63 North Texas towns ranked. Which came out on top? Which sank to the bottom? And where does your community fall on the list?
Forney is less than 20 miles from downtown Dallas, but it feels like East Texas. When many Dallasites grow weary of urban life, this is where they come for their own piece of country. Another reason? Community. When an EF3 tornado hit Forney in April, destroying mostly newer homes in the Diamond Creek subdivision, the people of Forney did what people in Forney do. “Like a mound of ants, residents just descended upon that neighborhood,” says city manager Brian Brooks. “And within a week, they had everything done.” Forney proper has 15,450 residents. The city has an annual growth rate of 11.8 percent and has grown almost 280 percent since 1990. “Our growth’s been somewhat manageable,” he says. “But when we were building 700 homes a year, that was really kind of taking its toll. The economic slowdown allowed us to catch up. There’s always a tension here between the new and the old. You can’t just focus on stuff moving in for the first time. You’ve got to make sure you’re balancing that out with historic presentation and downtown revitalization.” No matter how big Forney gets, its residents see it as a convenient small town—not a Dallas suburb.