President Donald Trump’s neighbors at his Mar-a-Lago private club in Palm Beach, Florida, are arguing that he is legally barred from taking up primary residence at his Mar-a-Lago resort and have initiated legal action to stop him from making it his permanent residence once he leaves the White House.
The neighbors are not excited at the prospect of him moving there post-presidency and have asked the town to formally advise the president he cannot make the club his permanent residence and calls on local officials to “avoid an embarrassing situation” after he leaves the White House.
In a letter to Palm Beach officials obtained by The Washington Post, the residents cited an agreement Trump signed in 1993 to convert the facility to a private club, which they said bars him from using it as a primary residence. The agreement bars members from spending more than 21 days per year there or for more than seven days straight.
Neighbors of the club have frequently complained about issues such as traffic snarls caused by Trump’s visits and his flouting of local requirements such as a flagpole that violated height caps, the Post noted.
“There’s absolutely no legal theory under which he can use that property as both a residence and a club,” Glenn Zeitz, a Palm Beach homeowner who did not sign the letter, told the Post.
“Basically he’s playing a dead hand. He’s not going to intimidate or bluff people because we’re going to be there,” Zeitz added.
During his presidency, Trump changed his permanent residency from New York to Florida. He initially attempted to register to vote in the state with the White House as his primary address, which is not allowed under the law, and later changed the address to Mar-a-Lago’s.
“Palm Beach has many lovely estates for sale, and we are confident President Trump will find one which meets his needs,” his neighbors’ letter states.
The president has reportedly attempted to alter the agreement several times, including trying to obtain a waiver to build a dock at the club in 2018 before withdrawing the request in 2020, according to The Post.