Banning, CA – The City of Banning achieved another key milestone today in addressing the ongoing issues related to the abandoned, severely-damaged buildings located at 649 West Lincoln Avenue. Following the judge’s signing of the receivership order on November 21st, the court-appointed receiver made his first visit to the property this morning to begin a complete assessment of the property and implement security measures.
As part of that process, the Banning Police Department cleared the buildings to check for trespassers, but all the facilities were found to be vacant. Banning PD will also continue to provide additional patrols of the immediate area over the next several days to minimize any potential impacts to local residences and businesses.
Additionally, the court-appointed receiver has arranged for a security team to patrol the property 24 hours a day to prevent any future trespassing. A contractor was also on site to determine what facilities need to be boarded, removed, or potentially demolished. Additional fencing may also be utilized.
“This is a major step forward in putting an end to the ongoing problems at this property,” said Interim City Manager and Chief of Police Alex Diaz. “Securing these buildings is not only in the best interest of our residents, but also for the local homeless population that have been periodically occupying these unsafe, fire-damaged buildings.”
On October 6, 2017, in the case of City of Banning v. Zukaza LLC, et alii, case number RIC1700904, the City was successful in petitioning the Riverside Superior Court to appoint a court receiver to take possession and control of the Banning Business Center located at 649 West Lincoln Avenue, Banning, California 92220. The court receiver is an agent of the Court tasked with securing the location and finding buyers to rehabilitate the property.
During the hearing on the court receiver’s appointment, the Court found that the Banning Business Center was a hazardous public nuisance and posed a danger to the safety and wellbeing of the Banning community. In particular, the Court emphasized the ongoing transient activity and fire related issues that have been recurring at the Banning Business Center, including the recent fire earlier this month.
“Our firefighters have put their lives on the line numerous times dealing with the fires at this location,” said CAL FIRE Battalion Chief Tim Chavez. “We are grateful to the City of Banning for taking this matter to court and forcing a resolution that will benefit the entire community.”
Further security measures will be implemented at the site over the next several weeks. With the property secured, the receiver will begin the process of marketing and selling the property to a reputable buyer capable of doing the work necessary to make the Banning Business Center safe and successful, with continuing oversight by the Court to ensure a timely completion.
Inquiries regarding this matter can be made to the Banning Police Department at (951) 849-1195.