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Banning, Fastest Growing City in California

Banning, Fastest Growing City in California

‘Endless opportunity’: The forces behind Banning’s rise to fastest-growing California city in 2020

Though California saw a population dip of more than 182,000 residents in 2020, not every part of the state saw a decrease.

Banning, in Riverside County, grew 3.8% in 2020 to 32,223 people.

Several cities saw significant population gains and Banning tops the list of cities with a population of at least 30,000.

Banning, in Riverside County, grew 3.8% in 2020 to 32,223 people.

The Banning City Council decided last year that it was time to update the city’s slogan.

“Stagecoach Town U.S.A” was out. City signage and logos were updated with a newer and more forward-looking slogan: “Endless opportunities.”

Now Banning is the fastest-growing city in the state, and it appears as if new residents are taking up the city on that promise, especially the opportunity to buy a new home at an affordable price.

“You can come to Banning and buy a house for cheaper than Orange County… It’s cheaper living here, it’s always been like that. You can get a nice, affordable home — that’s endless opportunity,” said Banning Mayor Colleen Wallace.

Incorporated February 6, 1913, Banning earned its “Stagecoach Town” nickname in the 1860s, when the area was a stagecoach stop before later becoming a railroad town. Since 1957, the annual Stagecoach Days event reminds residents of the city’s frontier roots with a rodeo and a parade.

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Mayor wants population to reach 60,000

Wallace said her goal is for the city’s population to reach 60,000 within the next five to 10 years.

“My goals is to have more people here and have our city looking more like Beaumont,” Wallace said. She noted that the neighboring city of around 52,000 people boasts more jobs, homes, and businesses than Banning.

City Manager Doug Schulze attributed much of the city’s 2020 growth to Atwell by Tri Pointe Homes, a new housing development located along Highland Springs Avenue, which serves as Banning’s western border with Beaumont. Banning’s total number of housing units grew by about 4% last year, from 12,156 to 12,643.

Atwell began selling homes in April 2020, and 485 homes have sold so far. Once completed, Atwell will add nearly 4,400 new homes to Banning — a big deal for a city with around 12,000 total housing units.

When Atwell began selling in April 2020, home prices started in the high $200s. The price point is now starting in the mid-$300s, “which is still extremely affordable for Southern California,” she said.

“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,” said Schulze.

Banning shares geographic and regional features with its western neighbor, the city of Beaumont. Banning and Beaumont have been rapidly growing in size and population since the 1990s. Both cities are about 80 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and 30 miles west of Palm Springs, each connected by freeway and railroad.

Prior to the name Banning, the settlement was called Moore City. Ransom B. Moore operated a large cattle ranch and was later a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, settling in the area and nearby San Gorgonio mountains in the early 1860s. Moore sold his holdings and relocated to central Arizona in 1883.

Within only a few months the town was renamed for Phineas Banning, “Father of the Port of Los Angeles”. Banning had pastured sheep in the San Gorgonio Pass area, and operated a stagecoach that ran through the Pass.

Alexander & Banning Stage Line (1851-1860’s) – In 1851, Phineas Banning began the first stage line in southern California, running between Los Angeles and San Diego.

He soon partnered with D.W. Alexander and expanded the line into San Buenaventura (now Ventura), Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Wilmington.

Alexander sold his interest in 1855, but Banning continued, and by the 1860s, Banning wagons traveled to Salt Lake City, the Kern River goldfields, the new military installation at Yuma, Arizona, the Mormon settlement at San Bernardino, and in an arc around the Southern California region.

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