The State Coastal Commission, which must approve the bridge, has ordered that it must be a public bridge because it crosses over public beach and water belonging to the city of Newport Beach.
The Newport Beach City Council sided with the residents because they don't believe the state should be attaching restrictions to city property.
Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Mike Henn said opening the bridge to the public would place a burden on the city.
"We are concerned that the opening up of that bridge would expose the city to more liability and the possibility of litigation," he said.
The residents of Bay Island are planning to bring a suit against the State Coastal Commission to be heard in September.