Former President Donald Trump‘s apparent plans to reside in his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida may be in contravention of a 1993 agreement with the Town of Palm Beach, which limits his stay to seven consecutive days and 21 days per year.
After leaving Washington, D.C. hours before President Joe Biden‘s inauguration, Trump and his wife Melania moved to the Palm Springs estate. The change of address, which had taken place over a week ago since the couple’s departure from the White House, may pose an issue in the long run.
Upon his arrival in Florida, the former president was greeted by a small crowd holding signs such as “Pres. Trump Won” and “Welcome Home.” Others, however, were not too enthused by his return.
According to The Associated Press (AP), one of Trump’s neighbors sent the town a letter last month urging officials to enforce the agreement, for fear a long-term stay by the disgraced president will lower property values.
The agreement seems to have not been strictly enforced during Trump’s presidency. In his first year in office, Trump was estimated to have spent at least 50 days at Mar-a-Lago.
Kirk Blouin, Palm Beach’s Town Manager, told Newsweek the matter is “under legal review” by the town attorney, adding the issue may be discussed at an upcoming town council meeting on February 9.
The disillusionment with Trump’s presidency is reportedly palpable on his own estate. Laurence Leamer, author of Mar-a-Lago: Inside the Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace, told MSNBC many of the resort’s members are deserting it in an effort to sever any association with Trump.
“It’s a very dispirited place,” he said.
After Trump moved his residence from the Trump Tower in New York City to Mar-a-Lago in 2019, Leamer said the south Florida town’s residents were not pleased: “Even here, people don’t like him.”
Last week, the board of a West Palm Beach condo complex named the Trump Plaza voted unanimously to change the building’s name following the Capitol attack on January 6.
Though Trump had not owned the building since 1991, his name was kept for branding purposes. “Most of us are relieved that the name will finally be off the buildings,” a condo owner told The Palm Beach Post.
Trump purchased Mar-a-Lago for $10 million in 1985 from the estate of General Foods owner Marjorie Merriweather Post. He spent a fortune upgrading the property, according to AP. Upon finding himself in a financial bind in the early 1990s, the real estate mogul struck a deal with the town of Palm Beach to convert his part-time residence into a private club. As part of the agreement, Trump would be treated like any other Mar-a-Lago member.
According to AP, Trump often sparred with his Palm Beach residents prior to his presidency. The real estate mogul had reportedly exhibited a refusal to abide by local regulations. Neighbors reported excessive noise and traffic, as well as a massive U.S. flag placed without proper authorization.
Trump signalled a return to politics this week, when he received House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at Mar-a-Lago to discuss reclaiming control of the House in 2022. The visit comes amid a tense time for the GOP, after 10 House Republicans voted to impeach Trump in the wake of the Capitol riots.