Our mission is to make Dobson Ranch the best place to live, work and play. We build a strong sense of community, maintain and raise property values and provide quality activities and amenities for all of our members to enjoy.
In The Beginning
The large tract of land near the southwestern border of Mesa, Arizona now known as Dobson Ranch was once part of an extensive cattle ranch and farming operation. Dating back to 1886 when Wilson Wesley Dobson emigrated to Arizona from Canada, it remained in the Dobson family for many generations. As many as 20,000 head of cattle once roamed the land that is now Baseline Road. The Salt River Project water rights that allow the Ranch’s lakes to be filled today can be traced back to the same ones that were originally claimed by these early pioneers.
By the early 1970s, growth in Maricopa County had begun to spread eastward with the steady advance of a modern freeway system. Land that had been cultivated for many years to raise cotton, citrus and cattle, the icons of Arizona’s agricultural heritage, was rapidly being converted to homes, stores and businesses. As suburban Mesa’s census climbed at an unprecedented rate, the city searched for additional recreational and residential opportunities for its booming population.
To address that need, the original Dobson family homestead near the intersection of Dobson and Baseline Roads and several acres that bordered it were purchased by the City of Mesa as the site for a championship 18-hole municipal golf course. The elegant Dobson family home, which was built in the 1950s, is now occupied by the popular Ranch House restaurant. The home’s large adjacent garage was remodeled and, for many years, served as the golf course’s first pro shop and clubhouse.
About the same time, another 2,000 acres of Dobson family property that surround the golf course were bought by Continental Homes of Phoenix. This land was to become a master-planned community to provide housing for thousands of Mesa’s new residents. It spanned most of the area within the boundaries of Guadalupe Road to the south, Price Road (now Loop 101) on the west, State Highway 360 (now US Highway 60, the Superstition Freeway) to the north and Extension Road on the east.
The necessary building permits were obtained, the governing documents were drawn up and duly recorded and thus in April 1973, the residential community of Dobson Ranch was born.
The first planned community in Mesa, model homes opened their doors to prospective buyers in October 1973. Although several other builders participated in constructing custom and semi-custom homes and townhomes, Continental Homes owned the land, designed the man-made lake system and adjoining greenbelts and built most of the single family homes. Continental Homes’ sales office stood on the site now occupied by the homeowners association’s La Casita Community Center. This small modular building was donated to the association after it was no longer needed by Continental Homes and housed the association’s administrative office, Board of Directors meeting room and preschool until the more spacious La Casita building was constructed in 1992.
The demand for Dobson Ranch homes was so strong that many new houses were sold within weeks, and sometimes months, before they were completed. To accommodate the hundreds of children moving into the new neighborhoods, a senior high school and two elementary schools were built nearby. A total of eight artificial lakes were excavated and the lengthy filling process began in early 1975. Retail development soon followed, including Fiesta Mall, which held its grand opening in the Fall of 1979.
Construction continued at a brisk pace until the mid-1980s, when the Ranch was almost fully built out. The final area to be developed was the Brook Edge Estates neighborhood, which is located west of Dobson Road and south of Baseline Road. Originally owned by the Mesa School District and set aside as the site for a proposed additional elementary school, the land was ultimately sold and subdivided for use as private residences in 1988. The Ranch’s final homesite was completed in 1999 on a lot that had remained vacant for more than two decades.
Dobson Ranch now consists of nearly 5,000 homes and 18,000 residents, making it one of the largest master-planned communities in Arizona. Dobson Ranch is governed by a homeowner-elected Board of Directors, supported by a host of volunteer committees and administered by professional management and staff, it truly is a city within a city. Every Dobson Ranch property owner automatically becomes a member of the Dobson Association and is entitled to one vote for every lot owned. All owners of single family homes, condominiums and townhomes are members. Use of the common areas and recreation facilities is reserved exclusively for Ranch residents in good standing.
The Dobson Association owns, free and clear, approximately 65 acres of common areas and facilities. These include seven man-made lakes, three major recreation centers, more than a dozen tennis courts, four swimming pools and many playgrounds, parks and scenic lakeside pathways. All are fully improved and landscaped as outlined in the Association’s master plan.
Maintenance of these common areas is performed by the Association and paid for by funds generated through an assessment. Members of the Association are assessed equally for the cost of maintaining, operating and improving the common areas and enforcing the CC&Rs, which uphold the aesthetic qualities of the community.
Dobson Ranch Today
As originally envisioned, Dobson Ranch is a mixture of single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes designed around a common theme–the lakes. Nestled within the community are several schools, churches and a municipal complex which includes a lakeside park, a police substation, a fire station and a branch of the city library.
Convenient access to transportation, employment and shopping are essential to the vitality of every community. Dobson Ranch is fortunate to be adjacent to two busy freeways for direct routes to neighboring cities. Nearby employers include Boeing, Intel and Arizona State University. Commercial businesses of all types are located close by.
With its roots firmly planted in Arizona’s agricultural past and its eyes focused on the promise of Mesa’s bright future, Dobson Ranch today provides its residents with a leisurely lifestyle within a bustling metropolitan area. The Ranch’s motto ‘The Best Place to Live’ is as true today as it has been since the beginning.
- Easy freeway access
- 15 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
- Banner Desert Hospital and Cardon Children’s Hospital blocks from the Community
- Great Mesa Public Schools which include:
- Booker T. Washington
- Franklin at Alma Elementary School
- Rhodes Jr. High World Studies Academy
- Dobson High School
- Higher Education Schools nearby:
- Mesa Community College
- Upper Iowa University
- Arizona State University
- Only 3 miles to the Sycamore Light Rail Station
- Fiesta District Restaurants and Retail
- City of Mesa Police and Fire
- Dobson Branch Library
- City of Mesa owned Dobson Ranch Golf Course
- Also close to churches, healthcare, daycare centers, grocery stores, gas stations and much more!