|Published:||Nov 14, 2012 10:59 PM EST|
|Updated:||Nov 14, 2012 11:23 PM EST|
NAPLES, Fla - A controversy in Collier County is centered around a fence. St. Ann Catholic School wants to put a seven foot fence around the schools soccer field, but residents in the Old Naples neighborhood say it will be an eye sore.
"I know they want to protect the school, the schools name, their liability and so many things, but we do have to live in the neighborhood and we have to see the fence," says longtime resident Peggy Layton.
The current fence around the field was built seven years ago. It stands three feet high and is covered with hedges.
Wednesday, the Naples City Council delayed a vote the controversial fence because of the outcry from neighbors.
Naples Police recommended the school install a seven foot chain link fence to keep the kids in and trespassers out and while there has been no safety issues with the current fence, a school spokesperson says it's a proactive move.
"We'd like to prevent problems before they start and naturally the purpose of the security task force is to identify possible issues that can be resolved before there is a problem," says Billy Atwell, communications director for the Diocese of Venice.
The fence would be exactly the same as the one which currently stands at St. Ann's playground and many public school fields.
Layton says she fully supports the school and keeping the kids safe, but feels a seven foot fence would be an eyesore.
"The whole community around St. Ann is against it because they're used to beautiful spaces and gardens and homes worth millions of dollars they don't want their homes devalued," says Layton.
Peggy and more than 40 neighbors have signed a petition opposing the fence. Now neighbors and the school will work together to find some middle ground.
"It will come to a safe and happy solution, I'm sure," says Layton.
One idea discussed at Wednesday's City Council meeting was putting hedges up along the seven foot fence, but Naples Police voiced concerns about that idea saying it would limit their view of the field and allow intruders to hide.
The City Council will take up the item again on December 5th.
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