Fort Ord Redevelopment: Coordinating Transportation and Land Use Planning
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Fort Ord Redevelopment: Coordinating Transportation and Land Use Planning

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      The closure of military bases and conversion to civilian land uses is a challenging task faced by many small communities throughout the nation. Fort Ord is located in Monterey County, California and encompasses 28,000 acres of reprogrammed property. The twenty-year plan for the former military base involves replacement of 20,400 jobs and 12,800 barracks with 18,000 civilian jobs, over 13,500 residential units and a new state university for 25,000 students. The Fort Ord redevelopment plans were developed concurrently with a regional transportation study resulting in two important documents, the Fort Ord Reuse Plan/Environmental Impact Report and the Fort Ord Regional Transportation Study. This paper highlights how these two documents examined the transportation needs of the former base in context with the proposed regional transportation system. The planning process for Fort Ord redevelopment was generally considered a success in terms of forging a general consensus. The Fort Ord Reuse Plan received the American Planning Association's 1997 Outstanding Planning Award for Comprehensive Planning in a Small Jurisdiction. These plans incorporated several multimodal elements that balanced optimistic mode shifts with historical auto use. Land use and development patterns were identified as important factors contributing to the use of alternative modes of transportation. By employing concurrent planning strategies, the base reuse plan was able to explore opportunities for coordinating land use and transportation planning. The concepts of jobs-housing balance, mixed-use development, and higher density land uses were successfully employed as a means of reducing potential impacts and minimizing infrastructure costs. To ensure coordination throughout the redevelopment process, the land use guidelines promoted transit and pedestrian oriented development while the roadway design standards incorporated pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The early phases of development on the former military base are centrally located along a corridor that can best utilize transit and the existing infrastructure. This multimodal corridor serves the area's most pedestrian- and transit-oriented projects, the California State University of Monterey Bay and the University of California's Monterey Bay Environmental, Science and Technology Center. Potential funding strategies for the proposed transportation improvements were also addressed. To support the possible implementation of a development-related financing mechanism, a nexus analysis of the proposed transportation improvements was conducted. The purpose of this analysis was to identify the "fair share" of each improvement that could be allocated to future development, both within the base and off-site. The resulting multimodal transportation plan and financing strategies were designed to give local planners and policy makers the information needed to build a new community where development will not outpace the infrastructure.
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