A residents group wants to turn the section next to Whanganui's Durie Hill Tower into a picnic spot and garden to enhance their suburb.
Step Up Durie Hill spokeswoman Sue Morgan told Whanganui District Council's property and community services committee on Tuesday that the council had an opportunity to buy the section and needed to act fast.
The section at 9 Blyth St is a gently sloping 740sq m, with views across the city.
The Step Up Durie Hill group was formed as the result of a 2017 meeting where residents were asked their aspirations for the suburb. A key aim was to beautify and rejuvenate entrances to it, Morgan said.
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The group endorsed Durie Hill's "garden suburb" theme and has established seven gardens at its own expense. The Blyth St section could have another garden, picnic tables and possibly become a place for a monthly market, she said.
The Durie Hill Elevator and Tower receive thousands of visitors and are on the Te Araroa trail. The view from its reserve is "one of Whanganui's key business cards", mayor Hamish McDouall said.
It would be a shame if someone built a two-storey house that would block the view, committee chairwoman Helen Craig said.
But the committee cannot buy property and there is no budget allocated for it, councillors said. The section could be a useful addition to the tower reserve but its purchase could also set a precedent, property operations manager Michael Holman said.
Councillor Kate Joblin wondered whether any compromise was possible.
"Every other suburb is special as well," she said.
Councillors decided that a move toward the purchase would be ad hoc and unplanned. Any action will have to wait for the August 14 full council meeting and an options paper.