Seven ocean animal art sculptures — a sea lion, large and small whales, a sitting pelican and three dolphin tails — will be temporarily installed at the Beach Boulevard Promenade between Montecito Avenue and Clarendon Road.
The city hired Gates and Associates, a consulting firm specializing in urban design, land planning and landscape architecture, to develop a design for the Beach Boulevard Plaza Project. That project renovates the picnic area along the south end of the Beach Boulevard Promenade to make it more attractive and inviting. Besides building new ADA compliant concrete pathways, the new landscaping will have ocean-themed artwork, new picnic tables, seat walls, bike parking, barbecue grills and workout stations.
The artwork installation, expected in May or June, will take one month to complete and the work will be done on weekdays. Maintenance includes cleaning and redistributing the grade around the footing, done by Department of Public Works.
The glass fiber reinforced concrete sculptures will be created away from Pacifica but installed with a concrete footing on site. The sculptures ranging in height from two feet to six feet will ultimately be moved. The Planning Commission unanimously approved the installation at its meeting March 15.
“Staff recommended installing only the ocean-themed artwork element of the Beach Boulevard Plaza Project as the art pieces can be safely and easily relocated once the Beach Boulevard Infrastructure Resiliency Project begins,” said Associate Planner Bonny O’Connor. “The project would immediately refresh the visual interest of the already established Pacifica Beach Park. The proposed animal art sculptures would provide a glimpse to the public of what the full Beach Boulevard Plaza Project may bring in the future.
“The ability of the city to relocate the structures if needed to accommodate a change of setting addresses the concerns of impacts from various city projects overlapping in the area and potential longer term environmental changes,” she said.
Planning Commissioner Samantha Hauser said her 3-year-old would want to climb on the sculptures and asked if they are safe.
“Make sure this is safe and appropriate to the public, especially children,” she said. “I’d love to explore using local artists for a permanent solution.”
Deputy Director of Public Works Sam Bautista assured the commissioners that Public Works personnel will often inspect them.
Commission Chair John Nibbelin asked if the sculptures were going to weather well and was told by a Gates and Associates representative they would.
Christine Boles asked for a delay on this artwork installation to wait for the final report, due at the end of April, about the Beach Boulevard Infrastructure Resiliency Project.
“The seawall is only one option, not the only one,” she said.