SHORECLIFFS BEACH CLUB HISTORY
Beach photos from the past.
By 2009, our charming club-on-the-beach, showed the inevitable signs of long years of wear and tear. In anticipation of a complete remodel, the Board had been working diligently to make sure that remodel funds were available.
Jan 2009 – initial inquiry to the city to see if any “as-built” drawings existed of the club. None were found, and no drawings were found at the club itself either.
Feb 2009 – Frank Wilbur and Steve Elmer took measurements of the entire beach club facility. Steve Elmer created as-built drawings on Autocad.
March 2009 – Sharline and Steve Elmer came up with design options, and when they settled on what they thought was the best design, Steve developed design drawings.
April 2009 – The re-build team hired an engineer to provide structural drawings (required by the city and coastal commission) of the changes they were proposing regarding relocation of walls, raising the ceiling, etc.
May 2009 – Sharline Elmer started the submittal process with the City, County, Coastal Commission and Railroad, which took over 2 years to acquire all of the approvals needed.
Sylvia Foreman provided this tidbit of history: “We remember when we used to watch cattle roundups across the freeway. This would happen yearly. They would come riding in on horseback. In the same timeframe, a cattle truck overturned on the freeway. We had cattle running through Shorecliffs. They were finally able to corner a bull on the 4th hole. Such excitement. President Nixon used to play Shorecliffs and pictures were taken of local kids with him…our son Mike included.”
An article appeared in the Los Angeles Times on September 26, 1965, announcing the completion of the Beachclub. The caption read: BEACH CLUB—Shorecliffs facility is open for membership to Shorecliffs Pacesetter home owners. San Clemente facility provides for private beach, picnic and recreation, children’s play area, showers and lockers and rooms for meetings.
Bobbie and Dave Mott moved to Shorecliffs in 1963 and Bobbi remained in that home until her death in 2017. The beachclub and private beach were a unique benefit of the Shorecliff development but at first there was no system to provide revenue to maintain the facility. Once yearly dues were established and revenue was available, Bobbie, who was already volunteering as manager, was hired and she managed it for fifteen years. She obtained the first soda machine and Shasta sodas sold for 25 cents. Her daughter, Kerry Dunbar, remembers rolling the change to buy more soda at the Vons in Capo Beach.
Bobbie grew up in Santa Monica and played paddle tennis as a child. She was the moving force behind getting the paddle tennis courts built and she spent countless hours playing. She continued to play until she fell while on the courts at the age of 86.
Kerry remembers wildly fun Friday night BBQs with the Shorecliff families, her mother’s famous coleslaw and hot off-the grill abalone caught off of Poche reef. Bobbie and Dave passed on the love of the beach club to their children.
The developer of the Shorecliffs properties was Pacesetter Homes. The Beach Club was constructed and marketed as an amenity for the exclusive use by Shorecliffs residents. There are 504 homes within the Shorecliffs neighborhood. The original Shorecliffs homes were single level homes built on terraced lots with an ocean view.
Feb 2011 – Construction began on the club, with Sharline serving as the General Contractor, and several neighbors helping to chip in with demo, framing, electrical, plumbing, etc., offering significantly discounted rates to contribute the success of the remodel within a tight budget (Mike Foreman, Greg Smith, Hal Kolp, Chad Booth, Frank Wilbur, Corey Melia, John Sands).
July 4, 2011– The GRAND OPENING of the newly remodeled club at the annual July 4 event!
For forty-four years, our quaint and resilient beach club was the scene of a multitude of activities…Friday night BBQs, dances, meetings, funerals, dinners, holiday celebrations…family, kids, friends, sunshine and long summer days.
In the early 1960’s when the Shorecliffs Community was developed, the developer purchased land for the association parking lot and leased the beach and built the clubhouse facility. The lease was for approximately 55 years and was set to expire on April 30, 2018. Over the years, many rumors and stories circulated about developers or resort owners wanting to purchase our little beach out from under us. Then in 2000, the opportunity to purchase the underlying land presented itself. This required an entire membership vote of approval and special assessment. The community came together and a group of over 20 members coordinated and organized small home meetings, a large town hall meeting, balloting and neighborhood canvassing to ensure that the opportunity did not pass us by. At the time, April 30, 2018 seemed a long way off. But, now it is here and we want to celebrate that our Shorecliffs community can continue using our little piece of paradise.
SEND US MORE MEMORIES
For 55 years, the Shorecliffs community has seen a lot of living on this South Orange County beach. We invite you to share those memories and add to our written history by contacting Dorothy Melia.