These Regional Urban Design Guidelines (RUDG) are required 1997 Base Reuse Plan (BRP) policy refinements intended to facilitate community development goals. The guidelines were developed under a broadly-inclusive public planning process with input from residents, developers, property owners, jurisdictions and other stakeholders. The RUDG draw from existing local policy and incorporate national urban design best practices. Merging this community input and design practice increases certainty and expedites public and private development.

The urban design guidelines will establish standards for road design, setbacks, building height, landscaping, signage, and other matters of visual importance.

-Base Reuse Plan, p. 61

Roads & Mobility

Complete Streets
Streets are – first and foremost – public spaces. Until recently, streets were designed primarily around the automobile, creating thoroughfares that discourage other modes of transportation such as pedestrians and cyclists. The public is now seeking increased mobility options, as the national trend and California legislation (AB 1358) moves in the direction of complete streets that meet multiple types of commuter needs.

A complete and connected street network enables a cohesive sense of community, rather than disjointed development pods. Complete street networks can include a variety of thoroughfare types, from large-scale transit corridors to narrow, low-traffic neighborhood streets. A well-connected road system disperses traffic and enables or improves mobility.

The BRP envisioned an interconnected trail network linking former Fort Ord existing and new communities and universities. A well planned, context-sensitive network applying consistent features enhances function and visual appeal.

Transit Facilities
Well designed transit facilities improve rider experience and enhance economic vitality. Transit hubs function as orientation, meeting and gathering spaces, and provide access to news stands, cafes, convenience stores, public restrooms, shelter, bicycle storage, and enhance neighborhood identity.

Highway 1 Design Corridor
The Highway 1 Design Corridor Guidelines were adopted by the FORA Board on March 29, 2005. Their completion was the first step towards meeting the 1997 Base Reuse Plan (“Base Reuse Plan”) requirement for a comprehensive set of regional urban design guidelines.


When building fronts face streets visitors feel welcomed. When sides or backs of buildings face streets visitors feel ignored. When pedestrians are faced by building fronts they experience interesting views into windows. When pedestrians are confronted with blank walls their walk is less interesting and less commercially inviting. Eyes-on-the-street, the continual surveillance provided by storefronts and windows, also create safer environments.

Types, Setbacks, & Height
Building type variety creates places with aesthetic and functional variety. Buildings can be designed to serve a mix of uses such as residential, commercial, multi-use, live-work, and so on. Purely residential places with a variety of building types serve a variety of people. Buildings may also be designed to be re-utilized and evolve over time.


Landscape Palettes
The visual character of the Monterey Bay Region is greatly determined by the quality and integration of the natural and introduced landscape pattern and materials.

Provide appropriate illumination to meet community needs for orientation and safety to compliment architectural aesthetics and the surrounding coastal environment.


Gateway design should provide visual evidence one has arrived at the former Fort Ord. Individual destination character/location can inform the gateway design. Contextual design celebrates regional attractions.

Wayfinding orients commuters and visitors as they traverse the former Fort Ord by car, bike or on foot as to location and destination. By providing consistently themed clear and ample signage throughout former Fort Ord provides visitors a more pleasant and productive experience.

Other Matters of Visual Importance

Public Spaces
Public space should be appropriately proportioned. When public space is dominant it appears empty and unsafe no matter how populated. When public space is too small to be effective it generates maintenance costs with little return on investment.

Centers are typically located on major intersections or around public spaces and provide the best opportunity for a mix of uses or housing types. Commercial centers provide goods and services. Residential centers provide open space. Centers of all kinds provide destinations for people gathering.