This Banned California City is Now Fastest Growing Due to New Constructions
This past year, the Banning City Council felt it was time to change the slogan for the city. It was out called “Stagecoach Town U.S.A.” The city’s signs and logos now have a new slogan that is more forward-looking: “Endless opportunities.” Now Banning is the state’s fastest-growing city, and it looks like people are moving there because it promises a lot, especially the chance to buy a new home at a good price.
“You can get a house in Banning for less money than in Orange County…” It’s always been cheaper to live here. “There are a lot of opportunities when you can get a nice, affordable home,” said Colleen Wallace, mayor of Banning.
Before 2019, Banning didn’t give out a single new home permit. This is very different from now, when the city is overflowing with people. Based on statistics from the California Department of Finance, Banning had the fastest population growth of any city in California with more than 30,000 people in 2020, rising by 3.8%.
As you head west on Interstate 10 from the Coachella Valley toward Los Angeles, you’ll see windmills, the Cabazon dinosaurs, and the Morongo Casino. The first place you’ll see is Banning. It’s 85 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, 25 miles west of Palm Springs, and 30 miles east of Riverside.
In the south, Mount San Jacinto and Mount San Gorgonio are right next to the city, giving it great views of two of Southern California’s biggest mountains. The name “Stagecoach Town” came from the 1860s, when the area was a stop for stagecoaches before it became a railroad town. Banning became a city in 1913. With a rodeo and a parade, Stagecoach Days has been a yearly event since 1957 that tells people of the city’s frontier roots.
Mayor Targets 60,000 People
Wallace said that she wants 60,000 people to live in the city in the next five to ten years. “My goals is to have more people here and have our city looking more like Beaumont,” he said. She said that there are more jobs, homes, and businesses in the nearby city of about 52,000 people than in Banning.
As more homes are built along the I-10 stretch, Banning passed its western neighbor Beaumont to become the fastest-growing city in the state this year. In 2019, Beaumont held the top spot with a 3.7% population growth.
Doug Schulze, the city manager, said that Atwell by Tri Pointe Homes, a new housing development on Highland Springs Avenue, which is the western border between Banning and Beaumont, would be a big part of the city’s growth in 2020. The total number of homes in Banning went up by about 4% last year, from 12,156 to 12,643.
The first house that Atwell sold was in April 2020, and so far 485 have been sold. Atwell will add almost 4,400 new homes to Banning when it’s finished. That’s a lot of houses for a city with only about 12,000 total.
In May 2021, the California Association of Realtors reported that the typical sales price of a home in California was $818,260. The middle price in the Inland Empire was $510,000, and the middle price in the six-county Southern California area was $752,250.
“We’ve got a great location and a price point that you can’t find in California, and people can live in Banning, commute to Riverside, Perris — L.A. is a little far but people do it, and we’re close to the I-10,” explained Schulze.
8,500 New Homes Approved
“The city went 20 years with absolutely no growth,” Schulze said of Banning. After learning that younger people were leaving the city and seeing the economic benefits of Beaumont’s growth, city leaders are now putting growth and development at the top of their list of priorities.
“Banning is the next city moving out from Los Angeles that hasn’t grown yet. The city council is very interested in and supportive of growth and development right now.” “Giving young people reasons to stay in Banning is very important, and I think a lot of people get that,” Schulze said.
In 2018, the middle age in Banning was 40, which was a few years older than the middle age in Riverside County, which was 35. That was less than the county median of $60,807, which was $39,700. In Banning, the Banning Unified School District runs four elementary schools, two middle schools, one comprehensive high school, and one continuation high school. It serves about 5,000 students.
There are city limits around Banning for the Atwell development, but most of the 4,400 new homes will be in the Beaumont Unified School District. The city and school district of Banning have tried to work out a deal with the Beaumont Unified School District to change these boundaries so that the new kids can go to schools in Banning, but they have not been successful so far.