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Posted on: August 12, 2021

City statement on The Winston School

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On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, in a special meeting of the Del Mar City Council, the City Council voted as Landlord to confirm termination of the Winston School’s lease for failing to cure the default identified in the Notice to Cure provided to the School on October 8, 2020. The vote was 4-0, with Councilmember Dave Druker recused. Under the terms of the lease, the effective date for the termination is July 1, 2023. Until that time, the lease remains in effect.

The Winston School is a tenant under a long-term 55-year lease through 2063 with the City of Del Mar, which allows for the School’s use of a portion of the Shores Property. The 2010 lease sets forth development milestones for “demolishment, removal, and replacement” or “major remodel” of the school buildings. The lease includes as a required first development milestone the submission of a complete Development Application by December 31, 2019, which was extended by the City to October 2, 2020.

On October 8, 2020, since a complete Development Application was not submitted by the October 2, 2020 deadline, per the terms of the lease, the City issued a 90-day Notice to Cure and further extended the deadline to January 6, 2021. In December 2020, in a further effort to assist The Winston School with curing the default, the City extended the deadline to April 8, 2021, and subsequently extended the deadline again to June 8, 2021, and finally July 23, 2021.

The City Council has been amenable to the concept of a “major remodel” in lieu of complete “demolishment, removal and replacement” of the School buildings. The consistent feedback provided to the School from the City since summer 2020 has been that the Winston School’s redevelopment plan needed to bring all existing buildings into compliance with current Building Code requirements and address their long-term parking requirements within their leasehold area. The plan had to be submitted as a complete Development Application by the application deadline. At its August 11 meeting, the City Council determined that Winston has failed to meet these requirements.  

“I have long-valued, as an educator and as the aunt of a special needs child, what Winston does, and that makes being landlord in this situation excruciating," said Mayor Terry Gaasterland. "But we have to do what is right for the City and that’s to be responsible landlords.”

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