Sculpture heads back to hearing examiner

A public comment period has opened for the Angel de la Creatividad sculpture, again.

A public comment period has opened for the Angel de la Creatividad sculpture before its installation is brought to the hearing examiner, again.

The 40-foot sculpture was created by Mexican sculptor Sebastián and gifted to Oak Harbor in 2021. After a survey at the time, which some felt was flawed, reported that 70% of residents did not want the sculpture, Flintstone Park was chosen as its destination.

In March of this year, city staff measured the sculpture including its 1.5-foot tall, 10-foot by 10-foot base plate, which brought the sculpture up to 40 feet, which is 5 feet above what was originally approved in the shoreline exemption permit. Thus, the examiner process, including a public comment portion, must be repeated.

Any structure near a shoreline must undergo the state shoreline exemption permit process.

“I don’t know if it was on our part or Sculptures Northwest where the oversight happened, but we got to do it right,” said Councilmember Jim Woessner.

Even though the sculpture has already gone through a public comment period, repeating the process without that element wouldn’t be doing the public justice, he said.

“It’s mind boggling and it’s head banging and everything else, but at the same time if the city’s not going to follow its own rules, who can you expect to do it?” he asked. “And so, there you go. We’re doing the right thing.”

Over the years, the tall, metal sculpture has provoked strong opinions in the community and even affected the outcome of a local election. The city originally proposed placing it in Windjammer Park, which many people objected to — although some wrongly believed it would replace plans to rebuild the windmill. As a result, city leaders chose to place it in the park on Bayshore Drive, where it will greet boaters headed to the marina.

Those who wish to give input on the new sculpture application may attend the public hearing at 1 p.m. on June 4 in City Hall. The meeting will be streamed on YouTube, and instructions on how to provide virtual input will appear on the hearing agenda.