By A.J. Hazarabedian

The City of Banning adopted a resolution of necessity this week, authorizing the use of eminent domain to acquire a vacant parcel which sits in the middle of their planned project area.  The project, Village at Paseo San Gorgonio, plans to revitalize a currently “blighted” downtown area.

The Banning-Beaumont Patch reported in their article, “Banning Proceeds With Eminent Domain to Acquire Property for Village at Paseo San Gorgonio Project,” that negotiations with property owners have been unsuccessful as the City has received no response to any offers made.

The parcel is owned by Frederick Huang, Audie Huang, and Jen Huang.  The City has offered them $75,000 for the parcel, which according to the article has been vacant since 1969.

City Councilmember Bob Botts is quoted in the article stating that “the City is on record…not to use eminent domain against residential properties…But this is a classic example, non-residential, unresponsive person, disinterested, and a vacant piece of property, and this will help the greater good for downtown Banning.”

Eminent domain proceedings will begin in a few weeks per Banning City Attorney David Aleshire.