CHICAGO (CBS) — The City Council has cleared the way for the city to take control of Park District land on the South Side for the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum, if the University of Chicago’s bid for the facility is selected.

The Barack Obama Foundation was concerned the city and university don’t own the land the school has proposed for building the library – parcels in either Jackson Park or Washington Park – so the Emanuel administration forged an agreement with the Park District to transfer the proposed sites to the city.

On Wednesday, the City Council gave final approval to the deal by a 47-0 vote, with one alderman abstaining.

The University of Chicago’s plan would call for the Park District to transfer control of about 20 acres of land in either Jackson Park or Washington Park to the city, if the Barack Obama Foundation awards the library to the University. The library building would be built on 3 to 5 acres of land, while the agreement would require the remaining 15 to 18 acres of the site to be open green space. The city also would have to replace the open space given up for the library building by providing an equal amount of green space elsewhere in the city.

In voicing his support for the measure, Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) acknowledged park advocates have threatened to sue to block the library from being built on park land.

“I understand the situation with the parks. One of the things that I always say is that we can build another park, but we cannot get another Barack Obama Library,” he said.

Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), whose ward covers parts of Washington Park, said the South Side is the best choice for the library.

“This library belongs in only one place. There’s no other place that this library can go,” she said.

The University of Chicago is competing with three other bids for the library. The University of Illinois at Chicago has proposed building the library in North Lawndale on the West Side, on 23 acres of land already owned by the city, and the mayor has committed to donating that land to UIC if it gets the library. Columbia University in New York City and the University of Hawaii in Honolulu also are competing for the library, and Columbia has been seen as the most formidable opposition to Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday that Obama said he hopes the library lands in Chicago. However, Obama reportedly mentioned there were “entanglements.”

Some believe the entanglement was uncertainty about the outcome of the election. Both the mayor and challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia have said they support bringing the Obama Library to Chicago, on park land.

“My position has been clear, clear since day one,” Emanuel said. “I believe clarity consistency counts. That’s not true for my opponent. He opposed it on the South Side and West Side.”

“Whatever the final decision is made by the selection committee and President Obama, I will support,” Chuy Garcia said.

The Barack Obama Foundation originally was set to announce the location of the library by the end of the month, but after Mayor Rahm Emanuel was forced into a runoff in the race for mayor, the foundation decided to wait until after the April 7 election to announce its selection.

Could the threat of a lawsuit also be that “entanglement?” The mayor had a message for the Friends of the Parks.

“See this as an opportunity, for the city of which you’re a part of that you love,” Emanuel said. “We will work with you on issues of parks and parkland we’ve done it even before this.”

The president of the group Friends of the Parks released a statement saying in part, “We refuse to accept that the only place to put the Obama Presidential Library is in a decades-old, historic, public park. We find it problematic to support the selective amputation of a historic public park to build a massive building, especially when there is enough premium, non-park land in which to build them, including the 11-acre University of Chicago and, CTA and City-owned site across the street from Washington Park, UIC’s proposed library sites and other vacant, well-located, city-contolled sites like the Michael Reese Hospital site.”