Mar-a-Lago Will Need to Tear Down Its Presidential Helipad Once Trump Leaves Office
Palm Beach's town council had approved a permit for the president's club in 2017 to construct a 50-foot concrete helipad on which Marine One could land
Though President Donald Trump isn't yet ready to concede the election to President-elect Joe Biden, his last day in office will be Jan. 20, after which some parts of his life will return to what they once were.
Certainly that will be true at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, at least, where a helipad for Marine One can no longer be used once Trump leaves office.
Though the town of Palm Beach doesn't usually allow non-emergency helicopters, it made a special exception for Trump after he was sworn into office in 2017, issuing a permit that would allow his members-only club to accommodate the 25,000-lb. Marine One.
Though neighbors weren't initially keen on the idea when it was presented in 2017, arguing that the down draft and noise would be disruptive, town officials argued that it would be a better option than the traffic jams caused by a motorcade coming to and from the airport.
In January 2017, Palm Beach's town council unanimously approved a permit for Mar-a-Lago — the so-called "Winter White House" where Trump spends much of his downtime — to construct a 50-foot concrete helipad on which Marine One could land.
The project's architect told the Sun-Sentinel it was constructed using funds from the club.
But the permit was "only granted on a contingency basis," according to Michelle Sentmanat, senior permit coordinator at the Town of Palm Beach. She tells PEOPLE the permit specified that the helipad could only be used for business related to the presidency and could no longer be used once Trump was out of office.
It does appear that some of those rules may have been broken in the past, however. Residents have noted that other helicopters bearing the Trump name (i.e. those not connected to the presidency, but to Trump's private businesses) have been seen parked on the pad in the past.
Come Jan. 20, the day Trump leaves office under the Constitution, that will change. Air traffic of any kind will no longer be permitted to land on the helipad.
At that point, says Sentmanat, Mar-a-Lago will need to apply for another permit from the town of Palm Beach: to demolish and remove the structure and re-sod and irrigate the empty space.