Published: Jan 08, 2014 5:26 PM EST
Updated: Jan 08, 2014 5:35 PM EST

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Homeowners in Cape Coral are one step closer to protecting their privacy. The city's planning and zoning commission voted that the city's fencing regulations are "unnecessarily restrictive."

If you live on waterfront property in Cape Coral, you can only build a solid fence within a certain amount of feet from a canal. But after a decision Wednesday morning at city hall, you might be able to further enclose your backyard.

Beverly Nowall is tired of being told what she can, and can't put in her backyard. "Code comes and annoys you, you know, all of those things. At our age, it's a little disturbing," she said. "To constantly have someone coming and saying you have to remove a tree, it's too high."

Currently in Cape Coral, any fence within 20 feet of the rear property line on waterfront sites must be see-through above 3 feet. That's to preserve the views of the canals.

But for some neighbors like Nowall, it also means you don't have much privacy in your backyard. 

"Our house was built in '78. The neighbor, she built hers afterwords and then they built a pool that took away our privacy. Aren't we entitled to privacy too?" Nowall asked. 

The city's planning and zoning commission decided Wednesday morning to reduce that 20 foot restriction to seven feet. Which means you could build a regular fence, closer to your canal, before it must dip to 3 feet.

While the proposed amendment gives homeowners the option of an increase in privacy, it also still protects the views of the canals that make Cape Coral famous. 

The new rule would also apply to landscaping, such as the height of a hedge, with some exceptions. 
"It creates a line of sight triangle in which nothing can be planted that would obstruct a view," said Planning and Zoning Commission Chair Patti Martin.

The city has been talking about this since 2010. A landscape architect donated his time to come up with this new plan. The final decision is in the hands of Cape Coral's city council, to be voted on later this year.