Published: Sep 14, 2010 3:42 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 14, 2010 12:43 AM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A city council decision could revive utility expansion for a portion of the city.

Monday night, the council voted to approve an alternative set of projects to improve waterflow surrounding a canal in the northwest Cape.  In exchange for protecting the environment, the city will have to commit to other changes, including fertilizer runoff restrictions, and the installation of sewer and water lines for about 600 homes north of Pine Island Road and west of Burnt Store Road.

Several members of the Northwest Neighborhood Association felt it would be a fair trade.

"In the neighborhood we want to live in an ecologically friendly climate and we want to respect the environment,and through that environment we take care of the environment," said association president Stella Peters.

But mayor John Sullivan was concerned the alternative projects would be too costly to the city.

"We're in a bad economy here and we have to be very careful with what we're doing, what we're signing on to, what we're agreeing to," Sullivan said.

Any utility installation may not happen for several years.  Council member Kevin McGrail, who represents the northwest Cape, said the city's decision could lead to lengthy legal challenges.

Also at the Cape Coral city council meeting Monday, council members voted to reclassify pot-bellied pigs as domestic animals.  It's a change from a previous city policy that considered the pigs to be livestock.

The council also voted to ease restrictions on the storage of garbage containers.  Homeowners can now keep trash containers behind their homes, in carports, or behind a wall in a side yard.  The change comes as the city switches to a larger trash container next month.