This next photo shows beach parking at San Clemente in about 1928. From my own childhood, I seem to remember a big dirt parking lot. Today the lot is paved, landscaped, and well-lighted.
In the early days, developer Ole Hanson decreed that all buildings in San Clemente must conform to the town's slogan: "The Spanish Village of White Houses." Everything built was in a Spanish motif and featured white walls and red roofs. Perhaps you thought South County's planned communities and strict CC&Rs were something recent?