Palm Beach, Florida, United States – Donald Trump’s presidency is in its final days, forcing the first family to find new homes – but some potential new neighbors in Florida’s elite community he wants to move to are fighting to keep him away .
A group of Palm Beach residents who live near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club are asking city officials to prevent Trump from settling there permanently after his presidency. They cite a deal he made almost 30 years ago that prohibits him from establishing a residence on the property. The case was first reported by the Washington Post.
According to the complaint, Trump, who bought the sprawling oceanfront estate in 1986, was allowed to convert it to a private club in 1993, but only if it no longer served as a private residence. The 126-room mansion was built in 1927 as a residence for Marjorie Meriweather Post, the daughter of cereal tycoon CW Post. Under Trump’s original deal, guests could only stay overnight for three weeks a year, and no more than seven days at a time, the Post reported.
As president, however, Trump spent more than 130 days at the Club, according to the Post, making the property his “Winter White House.”
Palm Beach is one of the most exclusive and expensive areas in the United States and is home to many of the nation’s billionaires and millionaires who live here seasonally to enjoy the tropical climate and thriving social life in the winter. Trump is spending December vacation with his family in Mar-a-Lago while taking breaks to play golf at his company courses during the day.
Because of the security protocols required to accommodate presidential travel, his visits require road closures and the presence of White House and Secret Service personnel, who neighbors say have put their lives on the island to a halt. Trump had also installed a helipad on the property – the only one licensed in Palm Beach – which was only licensed for official business as president. Trump will still have a shrunken Secret Service detail for life when he leaves office.
The New York Times reported that an attorney representing Nancy S DeMoss, who lives next to the Trump property, sent a letter to the city of Palm Beach through attorney Reginald Stanbaugh, claiming he did not was not allowed to live at the club.
“Under the 1993 user agreement, Mar-a-Lago is a social club, and no one can reside on the property,” Stanbaugh’s letter read, according to the Times. “To avoid an embarrassing situation for everyone and to give the President time to make other living arrangements in the region, we hope you will work with his team to remind them of the parameters of the User Agreement.
Kirk Blouin, general manager of Palm Beach, said officials would not address the matter until they were certain that Trump intended to live on the property.
“The city is not aware of the president’s intention in this regard and has no evidence to support this claim,” Blouin said in a statement to the Miami Herald. “If and when the city does, in fact, learn that President Trump intends to reside in Mar-a-Lago, it will address the issue appropriately at that time.
It wouldn’t be the first time the president has faced a fight with local authorities; Trump has faced issues with officials here for years.
In 2006, Trump installed a massive 7.6 meter by 15.2 meter American flag on the Mar-a-Lago property, which flouted a local ordinance that restricted the size of the flag on the island. The city tried to fine him $ 1,250 a day. Trump took legal action, and the parties eventually came to an agreement on the matter.
In 1995, 2010, and 2015, Trump attempted to sue Palm Beach County over air traffic noise originating from the city’s international airport. (Planes were rerouted during his presidency for security reasons, but flights over Mar-a-Lago could resume when he is no longer president.)
Laurence Leamer, columnist for Palm Beach residents and author of Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace, said Trump has been a controversial figure in Palm Beach since arriving in the 1980s.
“He was a very despised underdog when he showed up. He’s vocal and over the top, ”Leamer said. “Palm Beach is a very intimidating place for most people. It is the strangest place. It is isolated. Everything is hidden. And it’s not Donald Trump. So he had problems with the old elite.
Given Trump’s record in wrestling with the city of Palm Beach, Leamer said he would likely find a way to live in the area regardless of complaints from neighbors.
“He doesn’t care about the laws. He’s going to find a way around it. That’s what he did in his professional life, that’s what he did in Washington in four years as president, and that’s what he’s always done here, ”Leamer said. “The city doesn’t like controversy. To me, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll say he can’t live there. He’ll appeal and find a way around it.
Trump can avoid the fight by simply finding another property to live in. The New York Post reported that the family were looking for homes on the island, citing “potential conflicts”.
Palm Beach real estate listings are filled with properties that, like Mar-a-Lago, span the width of the island. The region is renowned for its ability to provide high levels of privacy and security to its well-heeled and often famous residents.
“Based on the president’s initial choice here in Palm Beach, which is Mar-a-Lago, it’s going to be very difficult to get past that,” said Paulette Koch, a veteran Palm Beach real estate broker who specializes in properties. of several million dollars on the Island. “But there are some extraordinary properties. This is what we are known for. And there are a handful that might interest him that are in his neck of the woods.
Trump, a longtime New Yorker, officially declared his intention to live in Florida when he filed a “domicile declaration” in Palm Beach in 2019.
“I will make Palm Beach, Florida our permanent home,” Trump said in a tweet at the time, adding that he had been “treated very badly” by officials in New York. “I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be better for everyone involved.”
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, is the place I have grown to love and I will hopefully stay for another 5 years as we make America even more beautiful, but my family and I will make Palm Beach, Florida, our permanent home. I cherish New York and the people of… ..
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2019
This move was highly likely for tax purposes, allowing the president to avoid the New York City and State tax rate. Florida, on the other hand, has no income tax, and the Republican tax overhaul Trump signed in 2017 would save him even more.
“Good riddance,” replied New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “He’s all yours, Florida.”