LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. — The Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld a rule that blocks public access from city-owned property to Lake Oswego.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the decision comes in a years-long debate between lakefront property owners and public-use advocates.

Proponents of the rule say Oswego Lake is private. It's surrounded mostly by private homes, but two downtown parks and a walkway next to the water provide public access.

The rule, adopted in 2012, authorized the city to fine people who got into the lake from the public spots.

Two people sued the city to challenge the rule, but a judge dismissed the case in 2014. They appealed.

The Appeals Court said the city and the state aren't obligated to provide public access to the water from the city property and the park rule doesn't violate the Oregon Constitution.

According to the Oregonian, "the lakebed and surrounding rim has been owned by the Lake Oswego Corporation" since the 1940s, "a nonprofit made up of about 700 lakefront homeowners and other nearby property owners who oversee maintenance and access to the lake through deeded easements and membership dues."