Melania Trump to fly to Mar-a-Lago to oversee renovations before moving in as neighbors try to ban them
Melania Trump is reportedly planning to fly to Palm Beach on Friday to get an update on renovations at the Trumps' private residence at Mar-a-Lago before the family moves there. A source told CNN on Wednesday that the first lady will fly to Palm Beach for the weekend and ensure that the house is ready for her and her husband President Donald Trump to move in after January 20.
This comes as a number of Trump's neighbors at Mar-a-Lago have pushed back and questioned the legality of the first family's plan to live at the lavish resort should President-elect Joe Biden occupy the White House on January 21. According to CNN, Melania has put her personal interior decorator in charge of the revamp, supervising fixes to the bathrooms and upgrading the suite where her parents are living.
That said, some neighbors have claimed that Trump is violating a "use agreement" with the Town of Palm Beach that he signed while converting the private estate to a members-only club in 1993. The former real estate mogul, at the time, allegedly agreed that club members -- including himself -- would not spend more than seven consecutive days and no more than three weeks annually at Mar-a-Lago. However, it appears the POTUS has exceeded that number during his tenure, and a handful of his neighbors in Palm Beach are reportedly against his plans to live at the property permanently.
Reginald Stambaugh, an attorney in West Palm Beach, wrote to town officials on Tuesday about security concerns around a fence surrounding Mar-a-Lago. He also bizarrely claimed Trump living at the resort could lower neighboring property values. “It is the Town Council's responsibility to right these wrongs and restore safety and security to the neighborhood by upholding its Use Agreement," Stambaugh wrote, per The Washington Post. "In order 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."
In conclusion, Stambaugh wrote that Palm Beach “has many lovely estates for sale and surely [Donald Trump] can find one which meets his needs.”
In another letter, the DeMoss family, who lives just north of Mar-a-Lago, complained to Palm Beach officials that he couldn't live there full time and urged the town to "avoid an embarrassing situation" for the President. The family also complained about the disruption caused by Trump's trips, in terms of traffic and blocked streets.
According to the report, the president has previously riled neighbors by installing a massive flagpole that exceeds height limits and obtaining permission from the town to allow him to build a helipad at the property. Meanwhile, Trump has also tangled with Palm Beach in court several times. In one instance, he complained that the nearby Palm Beach International Airport was causing air and noise pollution. In another case, he challenged the town for blocking his attempt to split his Mar-a-Lago property into a number of housing units.
Trump changed his primary address from Trump Tower in New York City to Mar-a-Lago in October 2019. First lady Melania is reportedly "checking out a good Florida school for Barron" amid rumors that the 2,000 square-foot residence is set to be "expanded and spruced up" to accommodate the first family post-presidency.