• Establish an open space system to preserve and enhance the natural environment and revitalize the former Fort Ord by adding a wide range of accessible recreational experiences for residents and visitors (BRP p. 17).
  • Ensure that open space connections link major former Fort Ord recreation and open space amenities and adjacent regional resources (BRP p. 71).
  • Provide a generous pattern of open space and recreation resources through public facilities and publicly accessible private development (BRP p. 71).
  • Use spaces between buildings to establish outdoor public uses.
  • Coordinate public space development through specific plans or other planned development mechanisms to achieve integrated design between public and private spaces.


  1. Civic Buildings.Utilize prominent locations, like the ends of streets, the tops of hills, or land adjacent to parks, for civic buildings including churches, schools, shared pool facilities, community halls, memorials, and pavilions.
  2. Context. Adapt open space to land use context.In urban places, design plazas and squares enclosed by surrounding buildings to form outdoor rooms. Keep parks and greens more open – bounded on at least one side by buildings and framed by plantings. Design other types of public spaces, including community gardens and play fields to be more open – occasionally shaped by buildings or formal plantings.
  3. Coordination. Design outdoor public spaces using a coordinated palette. Design elements include landscaping, hardscaping, lighting, signage, furnishings, and accessory structures.
  4. Placement. Locate urban open-space types (plazas and squares) close to centers, and locate rural types (greens and parks) closer to the edge of development. Provide an ample number of functional public spaces to new neighborhoods, and add more public space to existing neighborhoods as they evolve. Ensure outdoor public spaces are visible, abutting trails, transit and surface streets, and marking important intersections, views, or civic amenities. 
  5. Proximity. Design projects so that public spaces are within ¼ mile walking distance of every home. Locate new and existing development within ¼ mile of a small public plaza or playground at least 1/6 acre in area, and within ½ mile of a green, square, or park. For projects larger than 7 acres, locate and/or design the project such that the median size of the civic or passive-use spaces within and/or contiguous to the project is at least ½ acre.

Figure 3.46: Colton Hall in Monterey, CA. Colton Hall in Monterey faces Friendly Plaza. This placement communicates a message that the building is accessible by the public.

Fig 3.47 Birds-eye view of Locke Paddon Park, Marina, CA.

Figure 3.48: Placement of Open Spaces. Open spaces can vary in size, shape and use, but are to be a minimum of a five-minute-walk (1,320 feet) from most dwellings. Locate larger outdoor recreation areas within a ten-minute-walk (2,650 feet). Open space is typically located at the physical center of development whenever possible.

Figure 3.49: Placement of Civic Buildings. Civic buildings provide a community’s social infrastructure. Locate new civic buildings on open spaces or at the intersection of important streets where possible. Civic buildings are typically located at the physical center of development whenever possible. Civic buildings range from recreational buildings to decorative gateways or pavilions.

Fig 3.76 Colton Hall, Monterey, CA. The relationship of the civic buildings to the park and plaza, where the facades face the park, create a sense of accessibility. The smaller open space ties the plaza to the street and serves to define the area as a civic center. This relationship is best understood at the pedestrian scale.

Fig 3.77 Bird’s eye view of Trinity Avenue, Seaside, CA>