what type of “improvements” can be made while im renting an apartment?

My girlfriend and i rented an apartment in San Diego, Ca, and we love it. Part of the reason we pay so much for a place so close to the beach is the patio. The wood fence on the patio is a little less than chest high and allows for a pretty decent view of the surroundings. Now the landlord wants to get rid of the wood fence and construct a stucco wall that is a little higher than eye level and would eliminate any view we have from the patio/kitchen/living room and restrict any evening light we get (the windows all face west). It will basically turn our patio into another room without a ceiling. Is it legal to adjust the residence like this after a lease is signed and we are currently residing in it? If it is, we are looking for a way to approach the conversation with our landlord about maybe not constructing it so high because it will reduce our enjoyment of the place.

Edit: its a small complex and the construction of a wall wpuld only affect one other apartment.

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