3 San Clemente, California

San Clemente, California

:"This article is about a city in Orange County, California. For other meanings, see San Clemente (disambiguation)."

Infobox Settlement
settlement_type = City

official_name = City of San Clemente, California
imagesize =
image_caption =

mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location of San Clemente within Orange County, California.

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = California
subdivision_name2 = Orange
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Joe Anderson
established_date =
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_km2 = 47.6
area_land_km2 = 45.6
area_water_km2 = 1.9
area_total_sq_mi = 18.4
area_land_sq_mi = 17.6
area_water_sq_mi = 0.7
elevation_m = 71
elevation_ft = 208
latd = 33 |latm = 26 |lats = 16 |latNS = N
longd = 117 |longm = 37 |longs = 13 |longEW = W
population_as_of = 2005
population_total = 65900
population_footnotes =
population_density_km2 = 1432.80702
timezone = PST
utc_offset = -8
timezone_DST = PDT
utc_offset_DST = -7
latitude = 33°26'16" N
longitude = 117°37'13" W
website = http://ci.san-clemente.ca.us/
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 92672-92674
area_code = 949
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 06-65084
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1661376
footnotes =

San Clemente is a city in Orange County, California, United States. As of 2005, the city population was 65,900. Located six miles (10 km) south of San Juan Capistrano at the southern tip of the county, it is roughly equidistant from San Diego and Los Angeles. The north entrance to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (known as the "Christianitos Gate") is locatedin San Clemente.


Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the area was inhabited by what came to be known as the Juaneño Indians. Long admired by explorers and passing settlers, it remained virtually uninhabited until 1776, when Mission San Juan Capistrano was established by Father Junipero Serra and led both Indian and Spanish settlers to set up villages nearby. After the founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano, the local natives were conscripted to work for the mission.

Property rights to the land exchanged hands several times, but few ventured to build on it until 1925, when former Mayor of Seattle, Ole Hanson purchased and designed a convert|2000|acre|km2|sing=on community. Hanson believed that the area's pleasant climate, beautiful beaches and fertile soil would serve as a haven to Californians who were tired of "the big city". He named the city after San Clemente Island which was named by the explorer Vizcaino in 1602 after Saint Clement, the patron saint of November 23, the day of Vizcaino's arrival on the island.

Hanson envisioned it as a Spanish-style coastal resort town, a "Spanish Village by the Sea." In an unprecedented move, he had a clause added to the deeds requiring all building plans to be submitted to an architectural review board in an effort to ensure that future development would retain some Spanish-style influence (for example, for many years it was required that all new buildings in the downtown area have red tile roofs).

Hanson succeeded in promoting the new area and selling property to interested buyers. The city was to consist of buildings built in the classic Spanish style with red tile roofs. He built public structures such as the Beach Club, the Community Center, the pier and Max Berg Plaza Park, which were later donated to the city. The area was officially incorporated as a City on February 27, 1928 with a council-manager government.

Referring to the way he would develop the city, Hanson proclaimed, "I have a clean canvas and I am determined to paint a clean picture. Think of it - a canvas five miles long and one and one-half miles wide!"

Largest Historic Landmark in San Clemente: Soon after San Clemente ( The Spanish Village by the Sea) was incorporated, the need for a "Fire House" was realized. The headlines in San Clemente’s first newspaper, "El Heraldo de San Clemente" June, 1928 read: "Building to house local fire department will be constructed by popular subscription and turned over to the city when completed!" Individual subscriptions were received in the amounts from $6.00 to $1500.00 from the local citizenry.

In 1969, an event occurred which accelerated the growth and reputation of San Clemente. In that year President Richard Nixon purchased a Spanish mansion in the southern part of town that Hamilton Cotton had built in 1927. This "Western White House" became the site of numerous historical meetings. The Old City Plaza also at one time had a small Nixon museum inside when the city occupied the premises.

Nixon's "Western White House"

In 1968 President Richard Nixon bought the H. H. Cotton estate, one of the original homes built by one of Hanson's partners. Nixon called it "La Casa Pacifica," but it was nicknamed the "Western White House", a term now commonly used for a President's vacation home. It sits above one of the West Coast's premier surfing spots, Trestles, and just north of historic surfing beach San Onofre. During Nixon's tenure it was visited by many world leaders, including Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev, Mexican President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Prime Minister of Japan Eisaku Sato, and Henry Kissinger, as well as businessman Bebe Rebozo. Following his resignation, Nixon retired to San Clemente to write his memoirs. He later sold the home and moved to Park Ridge, New Jersey. The property also has historical ties to the Democratic side of the aisle; prior to Nixon's tenure at the estate, H.H. Cotton was known to host Franklin D. Roosevelt, who would visit to play cards in a small outbuilding overlooking the Pacific Ocean.


San Clemente is located at coor dms|33|26|16|N|117|37|13|W|city (33.437828, -117.620397)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 47.6 km² (18.4 mi²). 45.6 km² (17.6 mi²) of it is land and 1.9 km² (0.7 mi²) of it (4.03%) is water.

Interstate 5 runs through San Clemente. The Foothill Transportation Corridor has proposed to connect Mission Viejo to the Orange/San Diego county line and proposes to run along the east side of San Clemente and through San Onofre State Beach on its way to I-5. The California Coastal Commission [ [http://www.coastal.ca.gov/ california Coastal Commission] ] recently soundly rejected this proposal by an 8-2 vote. Reasons cited for rejection included, the road's alignment through a state park, endangered species habitat, native American archeological site and the runoff from the road damaging the state park and surf break.

At the south end of town is located Camp Pendleton and Trestles surf beach, which many residents and the California Costal Commission state will be destroyed by construction of the above mentioned Foothill Transportation Corridor toll road. The proposed toll road will run through San Onofre State Park.

Additionally, the city is served by numerous daily trains operated by Amtrak and Metrolink between Los Angeles and San Diego.


As of the city's 2005 census, there were 65,900 people and 25,514 housing units in the city.

The last Federal census statistics from the 2000 census showed that the population density was 1,094.2/km² (2,833.4/mi²). There were 20,653 housing units at an average density of 452.6/km² (1,171.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.92% White, 0.77% African American, 0.61% Native American, 2.64% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 5.11% from other races, and 2.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.89% of the population.

There were 19,395 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 102.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $63,507, and the median income for a family was $76,261. Males had a median income of $51,551 versus $36,528 for females. The per capita income for the city was $34,169. About 4.6% of families and 7.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.6% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.

urfing legacy

San Clemente catches swells all year long. Going from South to North, they include Trestles (technically just south of the city line), North Gate, State Park, Riviera, Lasuen, The Hole, Beach House, T-Street, The Pier, 204, North Beach, and Poche.

San Clemente is also the surfing media capital of the world as well as a premier surfing destination. It is home to Surfing Magazine, The Surfer's Journal, and Longboard Magazine, with Surfer Magazine just up the freeway in San Juan Capistrano.

The city has a large concentration of surfboard shapers and manufacturers. Additionally, many world renowned surfers were raised in San Clemente or took up long-term residence in town, including Shane Beschen, Mike Parsons (originally from Laguna Beach), Stephanie Patzin, Paolo Pandolfi, and many others.

San Clemente High School has won 6 out of 7 most recent NSSA national surfing titles.One title was won by Capistrano Connections Academy.


Of the 32,569 registered voters in the city, 18,320 (56.2%) are Republicans, 7,532 (23.1%) are Democrats, 5,132 (15.8%) declined to state political affiliation, and the remaining 1,585 (4.9%) are registered with a minor party.

In the state legislature San Clemente is located in the 38th Senate District, represented by Republican Mark Wyland, and in the 73rd Assembly District, represented by Republican Mimi Walters. Federally, San Clemente is located in California's 44th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +6 [cite web | title = Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest? | publisher = Campaign Legal Center Blog | url=http://www.clcblog.org/blog_item-85.html | accessdate = 2008-02-10] and is represented by Republican Ken Calvert.


The city is served by Capistrano Unified School District.

Within the city, there are six elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school. There is also one virtual public K-12 school: Capistrano Connections Academy with flexible hours for students. The elementary schools are: Concordia Elementary; Truman Benedict; Vista Del Mar; Las Palmas; Marblehead Elementary; and Lobo Elementary. The middle schools are Bernice Ayer, Shorecliffs, and Vista Del Mar.

San Clemente High School is ranked the top 1.3% of schools nationwide.Fact|date=August 2008 San Clemente also has an IB (International Baccalaureate) Program and a large number of advanced placement courses. The music program boasts a nationally recognized [http://tritonvocalarts.org Vocal Arts Program] with award-winning Madrigals, Women's Ensemble, and A Cappella choirs.


San Clemente is the setting of the MTV reality show, "Life of Ryan". It was also the setting of the 2005 movie Brick. The town was chosen because it was particularly close to the director Rian Johnson who lived there and went to San Clemente High School, which was the school depicted in the film. Many of the locations in the film are still identical to the real ones, with the exception of the Pin's house which was flattened a week after exterior shooting; the interior was constructed in a local warehouse. The phonebooths that were used all through the film are mostly props that were placed on location.

Notable natives and residents

*Lon Chaney, Jr., actor
*Carl Karcher, founder of Carl's Jr. and CKE EnterprisesFact|date=September 2008
*Karch Kiraly, Olympic gold medalist in volleyball
*Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States and Pat Nixon, former first lady
*Mike Parsons, big wave surfer [cite news |first=Laylan |last=Connelly |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Influential surfers get due at Hall of Fame |url= |work=The Orange County Register|pages=Local 2 |publisher= |date=2008-07-26 |accessdate= ]
*Ryan Sheckler, professional skateboarder
*Annie Hardy, musician with Giant Drag [http://www.sfburning.com/giant_drag.html]


External links

* [http://ci.san-clemente.ca.us/ City of San Clemente official website]
* [http://www.ocregister.com/sanclemente/ The San Clemente Sun Post News, the town's oldest newspaper]
* [http://www.sanclementetimes.com/ San Clemente Times community newspaper]
* [http://www.oldcityplaza.com/ Old City Plaza - Largest Historic Site in San Clemente]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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