Trump Can Remain At Palm Beach “Winter White House” Mar-A-Lago on Full-Time Basis Despite Agreement, Town Attorney Says

President Donald Trump departs the White House for Palm Beach, FL where he will be spending the Christmas holiday, Friday, December 22, 2017. Editorial credit: Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com, license.
President Donald Trump departs the White House for Palm Beach, FL where he was spending the Christmas holiday, Friday, December 22, 2017. Editorial credit: Michael Candelori / Shutterstock.com, license.

PALM BEACH, FL – Former President Donald Trump got a bit of good news this week, as he was notified by the Palm Beach Florida town attorney that he would be allowed to reside in his Mar-A-Lago club on a full-time basis, a plan that was up in the air for a while when he left office when several of his neighbors complained that it violated a 1993 agreement Trump had made.

Trump regularly would use Mar-A-Lago – which he referred to as the “Winter White House” – as a getaway during his presidency, often traveling there on the weekends to play golf or host meetings for international leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

After losing the 2020 presidential election to challenger Joe Biden, Trump had planned to move to Mar-A-Lago with his family as his permanent, year-round residence. However, some area residents complained, claiming that by doing so Trump would be in violation of a 1993 “special exception use” permit that enabled him to transform the estate into a for-profit social club. The permit only allowed for 10 guest rooms, with no one being allowed to reside at the club for longer than a week or more than three times a year.

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to vacation at his Mar-a-Lago club and mansion in Florida. Mar-a-Lago is shown in an aerial view as of January 12, 2013.
Donald Trump was expected to vacation at his Mar-a-Lago club and mansion in Florida. Mar-a-Lago is shown in an aerial view as of January 12, 2013. Palm Beach, FL, November 19, 2016. Editorial credit: FloridaStock / Shutterstock.com, licensed.

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However, the zoning code in the fine print of the 1993 permit includes an exception for “living quarters for its bona fide employees only.” And this week, Palm Beach town attorney John C. Randolph sent a memo to the town’s council, recommending that they allow Trump to live at Mar-A-Lago due to that fine print, given that as President of the company that owns the club, he would technically be deemed an “employee.”

It was also pointed out by Randolph that a vow Trump made in 1993 to not live at the club wasn’t actually enforceable, since that promise is not actually contained in the original written agreement.

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