An Orange County judge ruled against the residents of a private island in Newport Bay in their fight to keep their footbridge from being opened to the public.
The Bay Island Club, an association of 24 homeowners, had sued the California Coastal Commission after the commission ordered the association to make the bridge to the island accessible to everyone. One of the commission's charges is to expand the public's access to the coast.
Superior Court Judge Tam Nomoto rejected most aspects of the residents' case late last year, and the ruling was announced in January.
Only reachable by foot or golf cart, Bay Island is considered an idyllic and exclusive hamlet of luxurious homes. Its bridge meets a public boardwalk about halfway down the Balboa Peninsula, but a gate blocks access to the 130-foot bridge.
Bay Island applied for coastal development permits to replace the span in 2009 and to seismically retrofit other portions of the island.