When former President Donald Trump heads to his New Jersey golf club for the summer, he will leave his Palm Beach home with the legal right to live there.
Turning aside arguments from neighbors who claim that Trump is not permitted to live at Mar-a-Lago based on a Declaration of Use agreement he signed with the town in 1993, Palm Beach Town Attorney John Randolph concluded that the agreement doesn’t specifically prohibit the ex-president from residing at the club, Town Manager Kirk Blouin told the Daily News this week.
The 1993 agreement allowed Trump to convert the private residence into a private club.
Randolph also advised that under the town’s zoning code, private clubs can provide living quarters to a “bona fide employee.”
Under evidence provided to the town, Trump is a bona fide employee of Mar-a-Lago, Randolph concluded.
The town defines “employee” as “any person generally working onsite for the establishment and includes sole proprietors, partners, limited partners, corporate officers and the like.”
Trump’s duties at Mar-a-Lago, according to his attorney, John B. Marion, include overseeing the property, evaluating the performance of employees, suggesting improvements to the club’s operations, reviewing the club’s financials, attending events, greeting guests and recommending candidates for membership.
The Town Council hosted an informational session during its February meeting in which Randolph, Marion and two attorneys representing Trump’s neighbors shared their views on the matter.
No action was taken at the meeting, but in subsequent discussions with Randolph, council members did not object to his legal findings or to the evidence that Trump is an employee of the club, Blouin said.
“There is no action for the town of Palm Beach to take at this time,” he said.
Neighbors and others who wanted the town to block Trump from living at his Palm Beach club had used the 1993 agreement as a clear argument for why he couldn’t reside there.
West Palm Beach lawyer Reginald Stambaugh, who represents Trump’s neighbors, tried to convince the council in December that Trump’s living at Mar-a-Lago would violate that agreement as well as pose security concerns and devalue surrounding properties.
Trump, who has been living at his Palm Beach club since leaving the White House Jan. 20, is expected to head to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to spend the summer, according to multiple media reports.
The former president has been a regular summer visitor to the club since the mid-2000s, and this summer will mark his first as an ex-president.
He is expected to head there some time after Mar-a-Lago hosts its final brunch of the social season on Sunday, which marks Mother’s Day.
Following that event, the club will close its main house for the summer, with plans to reopen in the fall.
In a letter to members, Mar-a-Lago said it will keep its Beach Club open through July 4, while spa services and the gym will be available through May 30. Tennis and croquet play will continue through May 31.
Source: USA Today – Breaking News