Palm Beach to address residency ‘if and when’ Trump moves to Mar-a-Lago
The town manager of Palm Beach said the town will decide how to respond to President Trump’s potential permanent move to his Mar-a-Lago club if and when he chooses to do so.
“Officials and representatives of the Town of Palm Beach have received inquiries, primarily from the media and from some members of the community, regarding the reported intent of President Trump to make Mar-a-Lago his residence after his term of office as president has expired,” Kirk Blouin, Palm Beach’s town manager, told the Miami Herald.
“The town is not aware of the president’s intent in this regard and has no evidence to support said claim. If and when the town learns, as a matter of fact, that President Trump intends to reside at Mar-a-Lago, it will address the matter appropriately at that time.”
Trump is scheduled to travel to Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday evening, and there has been widespread speculation that he may not return to Washington before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Trump has refused to concede the race to Biden, and he is widely expected to skip the inauguration and also not meet Biden at the White House, which has been customary.
The Miami Herald reports that preparations are already underway at Mar-a-Lago to prepare for his residence beginning in January.
Residents of Palm Beach last week sent a letter to town officials arguing that Trump cannot live at Mar-a-Lago due to a 1993 agreement he signed that bars club members from using Mar-a-Lago as a primary residence.
The Herald notes that Trump signed another agreement with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the United States in 2002 that transferred development rights for the property to the nonprofit.
This significantly reduced his property taxes, but required a pledge to “forever extinguish their right to develop or use the property for any purpose other than club use.”
Despite the protests from the community, there is likely nothing the town can do to prevent Trump from using the club as his residence, the Herald reports.
“There is no document or agreement in place that prohibits President Trump from using Mar-a-Lago as his residence,” a spokesperson for the Trump Organization told the Herald.
The town could revoke the club’s occupational license, however, which the Herald notes could be costly for Trump if it prevented him from using the club for events.