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Palm Beach officials are reviewing Donald Trump’s use of Mar-a-Lago as his residence

Palm Beach officials are conducting a ‘legal review’ of Donald Trump’s use of Mar-a-Lago as a residence because of a 1993 permit that restricts long-term stays at the resort.

But Eric Trump, the former president’s son and an executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said his father is within his rights to stay at the exclusive club as long as he chooses.  

Trump signed a ‘special exception use’ agreement in 1993 that let him convert the historic mansion into a for-profit social club. But the agreement includes a clause that limits stays to no more than 10 guests at one time, for no longer than seven days at a time, up to three non-consecutive visits a year. 

Neighbors have claimed that Trump has violated the agreement in the past, and Wednesday marks seven days since he flew there prior to President Joe Biden’s January 20 inauguration. 

The agreement is ‘under legal review’ by Palm Beach’s town attorney John Randolph, Town Manager Kirk Blouin said.

Eric Trump argues that his father Donald, left, has a legal right to make Mar-a-Lago his permanent residence

Donald Trump signed a 1993 permit that allowed him to maintain a private club at Mar-a-Lago

Donald Trump signed a 1993 permit that allowed him to maintain a private club at Mar-a-Lago

Blouin added he has ‘no personal knowledge of where ex-President Trump is living or intends to live.’

The Town Council may discuss the 1993 permit and Trump’s residency at a meeting on February 9, he said.

If found to have violated the 1993 agreement, the town has the right to revoke the club’s occupational license and can seek relief in civil courts, the signed document reads. 

But Eric Trump told DailyMail.com that his father has the legal right to live at his property.

‘There’s absolutely nothing that prohibits my father from living at the property,’ he told DailyMail.com.

‘My father has the absolute right to live at Mar-a-Lago.’

Trump pointed to Section 134-2 of the town’s municipal code, which defines private clubs and noted that Mar-a-Lago maintains its RAA-Large Estate Residential zoning.

‘Within residential zoning districts, a private club may provide living quarters for its bona fide employees only,’ the ordinance reads.

Donald Trump also owns two houses on nearby Woodbridge Road

Donald Trump also owns two houses on nearby Woodbridge Road

Donald and Melania Trump, left and second left, pose with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago in 2000

Donald and Melania Trump, left and second left, pose with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell at Mar-a-Lago in 2000

The 1993 permit prevents guests from staying more than 21 days at the club yearly

The 1993 permit prevents guests from staying more than 21 days at the club yearly

The town ordinance also defines what constitutes an employee.

‘Employee means any person generally working on site for the establishment and includes sole proprietors, partners, limited partners, corporate officers and the like,’ the ordinance reads.

Eric Trump added that in his father’s 1993 application for the permit, he said the property usage would not change.

‘The use of property is not permitted to have changed, and has to be used in the way Marjorie Merriweather Post had used the property,’ he said, referring to the cereal heiress who built the estate in the 1920s.

He also noted that the primary argument from critics points to a clause in the 1993 permit which states ‘guest suites shall be limited to a maximum of three (3) non-consecutive seven (7) day periods by any one member during the year.’

‘He’s the owner and he’s the director and this why these guys aren’t gaining any traction,’ Eric Trump said.

He added: ‘There is a big difference between a guest and an owner.’

Eric Trump said that the 1993 agreement did not constitute a rezoning and that there are stipulations in his father’s agreement with the town and zoning ordinances that mandate the property return to residential use, ‘if for some reason the club didn’t work or wasn’t profitable.’ 

‘[The agreement] mandated that the property return to residential if for some reason the club didn’t work or wasn’t profitable,’ he said.

‘They didn’t want to have commercial use inside Palm Beach,’ Eric Trump said.

Mar-a-Lago neighbors opposed to Trump’s residence there in December delivered a letter to Palm Beach officials claiming the former president cannot live at the resort full-time, citing the long-term stay clause in the 1993 agreement.  

Reginald Stambaugh, a lawyer representing the DeMoss family, which has a property next to Mar-a-Lago,  wrote in the letter that the president should find somewhere else to live. 

‘To avoid an embarrassing situation for everyone and to give the president time to make other living arrangements in the area, we trust you will work with his team to remind them of the use agreement parameters,’ Stambaugh wrote.

Trump has enjoyed numerous trips to Mar-a-Lago that lasted for longer than seven days in recent years, according to a HuffPost analysis of his schedule. He stayed eight days in a row in 2020, had a 16-day stay in 2019 and a 10-day visit in 2017, HuffPost claims.      

Donald and Melania raise their glasses for a New Year's toast at Mar-a-Lago in 2004. Eric Trump said his father plans to make the resort his full-time home

Donald and Melania raise their glasses for a New Year’s toast at Mar-a-Lago in 2004. Eric Trump said his father plans to make the resort his full-time home

Trump, right, and Melania, second from left, are seated for dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe at Mar-a-Lago in 2018

Trump, right, and Melania, second from left, are seated for dinner with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe at Mar-a-Lago in 2018

Trump speaks to the press from Mar-a-Lago on Nov. 22, 2018

Trump speaks to the press from Mar-a-Lago on Nov. 22, 2018

Eric Trump added that his father has been living there since 1992 and ‘nobody has said anything.’

He also noted that his family already owns two other houses nearby on Woodbridge Road.

‘They are beautiful houses, and my father could live in either of those houses there on Woodbridge,’ he told DailyMail.com.

‘They’re beautiful houses, but Secret Service would likely shut down the road. They would have bomb dogs. They would literally have gates. The neighbors should be very careful what they ask for.’

Eric Trump said that his father plans to maintain Mar-a-Lago as his primary residence.

‘He’s going to be traveling and I’m sure there is going to be a lot of time he’s going to be out of Palm Beach, but he plans on spending a lot of time there.’

Michael Cohen, who served as Trump’s personal lawyer, told Huffington Post that Trump ‘cannot reside in Mar-a-Lago as a full-time permanent resident.’

‘Now, he can go there every day. It’s his club,’ he said.

DailyMail.com has reached out to Cohen, who began working for Trump in 2007, for additional comment.  

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