Skip to content
Close All


Highlands Ranch is an unincorporated community within Douglas County. Most municipal services, such as the construction and upkeep of arterial roads, parks and open space areas, are performed by the Highlands Ranch Metro District, a special district under state law, which is funded mostly by property taxes and state lottery funds. Highlands Ranch is policed by Douglas County Sheriff's Office, with South Metro Fire Rescue providing fire protection, and all public schools are part of the Douglas County School System.

Key Highlands Ranch Facts


  • Highlands Ranch is Shea Homes Colorado’s largest master-planned community with 22,000 acres of development.
  • Highlands Ranch is ranked as one of the most progressive master-planned communities in the country and lies just 12 miles south of the Denver metro area in Douglas County.
  • The first residents moved into their new homes in 1981. After all these years, the building of this planned community is nearly complete. Highlands Ranch now encompasses approximately 100,830 residents, occupying 31,510 homes.
  • Sixty one percent of the community is devoted to non-urban uses such as open space and recreation, 31 percent is residential properties, and business properties encompass the final eight percent.

Home Facts

  • Highlands Ranch offers homes for all types of buyers, from single-family homes for the first-time buyer to custom homes.
  • The community’s homes range in price from the low $200,000's to more than $1,000,000.
  • Shea Homes Colorado works cooperatively with ten home builders in Highlands Ranch including Beazer, Berkeley Homes, Forest Glen, Joyce Homes, Richmond, Ryland, Sanford Homes, Writer Homes, and Virden.

Community Facts

  • Highlands Ranch residents enjoy:
    • More than 2,000 acres of open space, 70 miles of paved and natural trails, 16 local parks, three community parks, and one regional park.
    • Four full-scale, state-of-the-art recreation centers, and two 18-hole golf courses.
    • Numerous public daycare facilities, 19 elementary schools, four middle schools, and five high schools.
    • High-quality medical care at several medical facilities throughout the community.
    • Numerous places of worship representing a variety of faiths.
    • A variety of commercial, convenience commercial, and retail amenities.
    • The HRCA has constructed seven miles of wildlife-sensitive, natural-surface trails on portions of the 8,200-acre Backcountry Wilderness Area.
    • Highlands Ranch is divided into four neighborhoods: Eastridge, Westridge, Northridge and Southridge.
    • The community is home to nearly 1,000 businesses, employing more than 6,800 people.
    • Highlands Ranch provides convenient access to all of Denver’s major attractions and business centers including Chatfield Recreation Area, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Coors Field, downtown Denver, Denver Tech Center, Empower Field at Mile High, Ball Arena, and Park Meadows Mall.

    Historic Facts

    • Mission Viejo Company, a master-planned community developer, purchased Highlands Ranch in 1979.
    • The first residents moved into a Highlands Ranch home in 1981.
    • Shea Homes purchased the property in August 1997 from Mission Viejo Company.
    • Highlands Ranch is developed on land that was once part of the Louisiana Purchase.

    Highlands Ranch Community Association (HRCA) Facts:

    • HRCA employs approximately 800 people and has an annual budget of approximately $23 million.
    • Provides architectural control and covenant enforcement.
    • Manages the Backcountry Wilderness Area and operates four state-of-the-art recreation facilities.
    • HRCA hosts community and special events.
    • The HRCA Activity Guide contains current programming, activities and events.