Skip navigation links
Types of Open Space

What is included in the city’s definition of open space?

The City of Carlsbad’s General Plan defines open space as “any area of land or water which, for whatever reason, is not developed for urbanized uses and which therefore enhances residents' quality of life.” The General Plan lists five categories of open space:

  1. Open space for the preservation of natural resources: This category describes natural areas that have been set aside from future development, including lagoons, beaches, wetlands, and preserves contained within the city’s Habitat Management Plan.
  2. Open space for the managed production of resources: This category describes areas used for agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, and water management, such as The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch and The Carlsbad Aquafarm in Agua Hedionda Lagoon. The water management subset of this category includes the various reservoirs within the city.
  3. Open space for outdoor recreation: This category describes areas dedicated to recreational uses such as golf courses, school playgrounds, campgrounds, and private community recreation areas. A subset of this category is city parks with recreational opportunities, such as Aviara Community Park and Hosp Grove Park.
  4. Open space for aesthetic, cultural, and educational purposes: This category describes areas of the city that provide scenic and educational value, such as parkways along major roadways, landscaped slopes within planned development common areas, and museums. There are some types of open space in this category, such as museums, that are not mapped as open space land use or secured with an easement and are not counted towards open space additions.
  5. Open space for public health and safety: This category describes hazardous or special conditions areas, such as airport safety zones, earthquake fault zones, and high risk fire areas. This category is not mapped as open space land use or secured with an easement and therefore not counted towards open space additions.

Why are lagoons considered open space?

Lagoons are considered open space because they provide critical habitat for marine species and waterfowl, and because of their scenic vistas.

Are backyards considered open space?  What about parking lots?

Backyards are not counted as open space. Parking lots are only included if they are part of a park, which is classified as recreational open space.