Residents near the CSIRO's Ginninderra site will start a petition opposing the move to rezone and build on the area.
More than 700 hectares of land between Belconnen and Gungahlin looks set to be rezoned and future residents could become part of a larger scientific experiment in urban design conducted in the area.
The CSIRO's Ginninderra Experiment Station has previously been used to develop genetically modified wheat, a wholegrain designed to prevent certain diseases, and sustainable farming techniques. The farming research will continue at a new site outside Boorowa.
The National Capital Authority is considering a request from the federal government agency for the land to change from hills, ridges and buffer spaces to urban area.
The rezoning is being strongly opposed by a group of residents who believe development in the area goes against the Burley Griffin plan for the nation's capital.
CSIRO general manager of business and infrastructure services Mark Wallis said if the rezoning occurs, 140 hectares of the 701-hectare site would be set aside as public open space.
He said other areas would be utilised for residential and a mixture of other uses.
"We've done a lot of assessments over the last three-and-a-half years … to understand what were some of the things we need to think about," Mr Wallis said.
"What that has identified are, there are around 75 hectares that are highly constrained due to things like the presence of the golden sun moth and yellowbox trees."
For the remainder of the land, CSIRO was considering a mixture of elements which could include residential, community facilities, community gardens, commercial or an aged-care facility.
Mr Wallis said the residential element would provide an opportunity for CSIRO to produce the highest standards of sustainable and urban designed homes, as a benchmark for the rest of the country.
"We could monitor the performance of anything in the future; like having sensors in the site for water usage, waste; all those things that can be monitored over a period of time to inform not only current but future urban design across Australia," Mr Wallis said.
"Like part of a bigger scientific experiment," he said.
During consultation one of the more vocal views is the site should remain as open space, and should not be rezoned.
Roslyn Chan has lived across the road from the site for 40 years, and heads a group of concerned residents.
She said the group was planning to put out a petition for other concerned residents to sign.
"We would like it to remain rural … we do not want to see it rezoned into urban area," she said.
Another member of the group, David Carroll, said the rezoning was inconsistent with the National Capital Plan.
CSIRO will maintain ownership of the site if it is transferred from Commonwealth land to territory land for development.
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