Myers was clearly distressed by comments from the public, surfers and Boyd, in an hourlong hearing. Eighteen members of the public spoke, 16 of them supporting the councilman’s compromise.
“The Classic,” as envisioned by Myers, is a depiction of a bronze surfer holding a surfboard behind him, the board colored with orange automotive paint. The 4-foot, 7-inch sculpture as recommended by the commission would have been installed on a 14-inch concrete pedestal mounted on the existing circular seating at the street level above the beach, claimed by many to be the site of the world’s first and longest running surfing contest.
Overall height of the installation would have been 7 feet, 4 inches. Street-end viewers away from the deck would have seen just the orange surfboard thrusting up in the middle of the viewshed to the ocean, hiding the standing figure facing the ocean.
City Manager Ken Frank and Public Works Director Steve May questioned whether the sculpture’s proposed location was in line with the intent of the Brooks Street improvement to afford the public an uninterrupted view of the ocean from the end of the street.
“When I was growing up one of the greatest things was that viewshed — I could see the waves coming in,” said retired Laguna Beach firefighter Karl Klass, like Boyd a Laguna Beach native. “I am not happy with this in the viewshed and having the guy [sculpture] facing south where the waves are coming from.”
Boyd proposed moving the sculpture to the right of the view deck and canting it toward the iconic Second Reef. However, Scott Holt said the council should trust the decision of the Arts Commission.
Asked by Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman if he was suggesting the council should not relocate the sculpture, Scott said he just thought the location should have been decided earlier.