Four Points land dedicated to BCPAustin City Council approved the purchase of two tracts totaling about 10 acres—11101 and 11105 Zimmerman Lane, Austin—and dedicated the land to the Balcones Canyonland Preserve on Aug. 6. Council amended the city’s 2014-15 Woodland Conservation Fund operating budget to release $196,420 for the purchase.

Council members Ora Houston and Donald Zimmerman voted against the measure.

Zimmerman, the District 6 representative, said he wanted the property to be used for housing with its taxable income funding civic needs.

An appraisal showed the tract’s highest and best use to be residential, according to agenda documents.

“The BCP is never satisfied,” he said.

The land is adjacent to property originally slated to house Austin’s Water Treatment Plant 4, agenda documents stated. Because the area is environmentally sensitive, Austin officials paid $50 million to relocate the WTP4 site.

If the city did not buy the Zimmerman Lane tracts, they could have been developed in a way that would harm the adjoining environmentally sensitive areas, and the city’s investment in moving WTP4 would be nullified, the documents stated.

The BCP acts to protect endangered species by dedicating land for habitat in lieu of property developed elsewhere. Austin is a partner in a regional consortium that is tasked with preserving and managing land dedicated to this preserve.