- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 28, 2021

Former President Donald Trump’s decision to live at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, is getting a legal review after a neighbor complained.

An attorney representing Palm Beach is reviewing a 1993 agreement between the town and Mr. Trump’s beach resort that stipulated the property would be a private club and not used as an individual residence.

It’s yet another legal battle Mr. Trump finds himself facing after he decided to give up his New York City home and move to his Florida beach club after exiting the White House.

Palm Beach Town Manager Kirk Blouin said that the town’s attorney, John Randolph, is reviewing the contractual matter and that it is possible the issue and a legal opinion could come up at a town council meeting.

“There is one resident that I’m aware of that lives close by to ex-President Trump that has filed concerns or complaints through the years,” Mr. Blouin said.

The council holds meetings once a month, and the next gathering is scheduled for Feb. 9 — the same week that Mr. Trump’s second impeachment trial will begin in Washington.

According to reports, a 1993 agreement between Palm Beach and Mr. Trump permitted him to build a private club on the property, allowing members to stay at the club for 21 days a year, but no more than seven days in one visit.

Mr. Trump also stayed more than 21 days at the club during the final year of his presidency.

A spokesperson from Mar-a-Lago did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

The Trump Organization told The Associated Press last month that there’s no legal problem for Mr. Trump.

“There is no document or agreement in place that prohibits President Trump from using Mar-A-Lago as his residence,” the Trump Organization statement read.

One legal issue is whether Mr. Trump, the owner of Mar-a-Lago, is considered a member and thus bound by various restraints.

The property was once the home of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, who died in 1973 and bequeathed the property to the National Park Service. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1980 and returned to the Post Foundation in 1981.

Mr. Trump purchased the estate in 1985 for $10 million and poured money into the grounds while living at the property part-time. When he ran into financial trouble in the early 1990s, he moved to turn the property into a private club, facing opposition from the town of Palm Beach.

Under the 1993 agreement, there is a limit to 500 members, and the fee is $200,000 with a $14,000 annual dues rate, The Associated Press reported.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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