Tuesday night Common Council members rejected a resolution from councilwoman Anna Duleep that she says would have been first step in permanently preserving woodland behind the golf course at Oak Hills Park.
The resolution would have been non-binding, saying the Council would encourage the Oak Hills Park Authority and the Conservation Commission to eventually ensure 7 to 10 acres of land at Oak Hills be declared protected open space.
The vote failed 10-5, with the Democratic caucus the only members voting yes.
"We should save the trees," said David Watts. He also said trail walkers and golfers should enjoy equal usage of the grounds.
"There should be dual use," he said.
The "no" voters gave various reasons for rejecting the proposal.
Republicans Nick Kydes and Fred Bondi said the resolution gave the impression anybody could walk along the grounds, putting them at risk of stray golf balls.
Doug Hempstead (R) said he thought the resolution had good intentions, but said it needed to go through a more thorough process.
"It's important this have the proper discussion at the committee level, not a full council meeting with no prior collaboration with anybody else to see if anybody else is interested."
The land in question was a possible building site for a driving range at Oak Hills. The park authority opted to build at a different location in August.