Two proposals for a 45-acre commercial and office development were approved for recommendation by the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday night.
Rampart Investments presented development plans for the Blue Ridge Center, which would replace a predominantly forested area at Blue Ridge Road stretching from Range Line Street to Providence Road.
The first proposal is a preliminary zoning plan for the entire development area.
The second proposal, which had been set aside at a May 10 commission meeting, regards about 19-acres of the development at Blue Ridge and Providence roads.
The 19-acre section, the proposal said, would include a bank, restaurants and offices.
Both plans would be aided by major upcoming road construction on Range Line Street and Providence Road, which would ease traffic congestion on Range Line and provide access from Providence Road. The Missouri Department of Transportation will handle the improvements on Range Line Street, and the city of Columbia is in charge of the Providence Road improvement.
Representatives of the city of Columbia recommended that the commission approve the proposal pending city approval of documentation regarding an updated status on traffic-related concerns, which the city has received and is reviewing.
The proposal was open to public comment at the meeting, but no one spoke in opposition.
After discussion among the commission members, they recommended the proposal to the city council with an amendment advising the developers to add more trees to the west side of the development to make the it visually appealing to passersby driving on Interstate 70.
Of the seven commission members present, five voted to approve the proposal. Ann Peters, a new commission member, and Neil Cady abstained.
Rampart spokesman Robert Hollis said he was pleased with the decision.
“Hopefully, this will encourage MoDOT and the city of Columbia to get going with these road improvements,” he said.