Boasting the world's best climate, San Clemente is located on the Pacific Ocean, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, in the heart of the "California Riviera." The city today is divided into Nine Geographic Areas.
Founded by Ole Hanson in 1925, the town was envisioned as a "Spanish Village," with buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival style -- all with white stucco walls and hand-made red tile roofs.
"By-The-Sea" was added to the city's motto in the 1930s.
While Ole Hanson's vision was discarded during the Great Depression, San Clemente in recent decades seems to have rediscovered his dream. Today about 40% of the original 500 "Ole Hanson" structures still survive, and the downtown area is renovating with an eye to the historic Spanish Village theme.
NOTE: The best way to search for historic "Ole Hanson" homes for sale or sold is to contact Mike Cotter at Mike@MCotter.com or (949) 322-6009. He'll be happy to email you a list.
In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon purchased one of San Clemente's most prominent residences, dubbed it "Casa Pacifica," and put San Clemente on the world map as home to what news reporters started calling the "Western White House."
San Clemente has grown dramatically over the years. By 1970 development was pushing into the hills west of the new freeway, Interstate 5.
In 2003, the city celebrated its 75th year since incorporation in 1928. With a current population of 68,000, the city is about 98% fully "built out."
The "Spanish Village By The Sea" geographic footprint is nearly complete. Additional population will now have to be built "up."
While not within the city limits, neighboring 23,000-acre Rancho Mission Viejo is to be developed starting in 2009. It will contain 14,000 homes, although fewer than 1,900 will be near San Clemente, and local construction won't begin for another ten years or more. Details and map.
Today, San Clemente enjoys the charm of the original downtown area with wooden ocean pier, and continues to build new homes in the foothills west of the original beachfront Ole Hanson described as "a canvas five miles long and one and one-half miles wide!"