NewsRegion C Palm Beach CountyPalm Beach

Actions

Palm Beach set to take on issue of former President Donald Trump living at Mar-a-Lago

Trump lawyer contends restrictions only pertained to guests
Palm Beach police expect President Donald Trump to arrive in South Florida on Jan. 20, 2021
Posted at 5:00 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 20:44:04-05

PALM BEACH, Fla. — It has now been more than two weeks since former President Donald Trump left the White House for Mar-a-Lago. Some believe a 1993 agreement with Palm Beach means he can't stay much longer.

The ball is essentially in the court of the town of Palm Beach over whether to try and tangle with Trump and his desire to live at Mar-a-Lago.

RELATED: Town attorney suggests Trump could be allowed to stay at Mar-a-Lago

The town's council is set to consider the legality of the 1993 agreement signed by Trump, which essentially says any guests could not stay longer than three weeks a year.

"I think it's his property. He can stay there as long as he wants," said Republican strategist Larry Casey.

Larry Casey
"Most people know that the town of Palm Beach government and the people in Palm Beach are pretty persnickety people, so they’re very, very cautious about anything that comes into their territory," said Republican strategist Larry Casey.

He thinks the former president can stay at Mar-a-Lago, and so do Trump's attorneys. His supporters had planned a Friday motorcade to Mar-a-Lago but put it off after reports that Trump may get to stay after all.

In a letter to the council obtained by NewsChannel 5, Town Attorney John Randolph says under the original agreement, if Trump is a bona fide employee of the club, then it appears the zoning code permits him to reside at Mar-a-Lago.

The attorney for the club and Trump, John Marion IV, also fired off a letter to the town saying at the time of the agreement the restrictions only pertained to guests and not Mar-a-Lago's owner.

Marion also states the original agreement did address the "Owners Suite," described as "Pine Hall (an antechamber), a vestibule (Louis XV Hall), the owner's bedroom, toilet, bath and drawing room, and the Norwegian Room and bath."

Marion's letter said Trump has used the owner's suite, "far in excess of the three visits per year and has never been challenged."

Some residents on the island don't like it and have urged town leaders to enforce the 1993 agreement.

Neighbors are reportedly worried about property values, security, and an endless stream of Trump tourists.

Casey said Mar-a-Lago might only be the beginning of a larger footprint.

"I think Donald Trump is going to move his company down to Palm Beach at some point out of New York, which means some development in the Palm Beach area," Casey said.

It is unknown what action the town council might take when they look at the issue Feb. 9.