The master plan for Discovery Ridge, the research park to be constructed at MU’s South Farms, was presented to Columbia’s City Council for comment Monday night. By state law, this project is not subject to city zoning rules or regulations. When the plan was approved by the UM System Board of Curators in November, the board required the plan be presented to the city for comment.
Discovery Ridge is an entrepreneurial project designed to transfer research to the community. It will be an area or cluster of technology-based, high-growth companies, some of which are recruited, some from the community and some startup companies that will transfer MU research to the community through entrepreneurship.
The council followed up on concerns voiced by the Planning and Zoning Commission in its March 23 meeting. These concerns included how the master plan for Discovery Ridge compares to research and development zoning requirements for the city.
The Protective Covenants for Discovery Ridge places restrictions on the project’s construction. The council concluded that the restrictions Discovery Ridge had made for the site’s development exceeded those restrictions of the city.
ABC Laboratories, a company looking to move into the research park after its construction, was concerned about the city’s commitment to the project and the timetable of proceedings for Discovery Ridge’s development. The council said easement was already being acquired for the sewage system.
Voters approved the funds for the Gans interchange off U.S. 63 on the November ballot. The city is working with Steve Sapp, who is developing Philips Park on the opposite side of U.S. 63 from South Farms, to secure the remainder of the funds for the interchange. The council said it plans to present the funding for the interchange at their next meeting.