BY DAVID JAMES HEISS
Two adjacent buildings at 700 S. Hathaway Street in Banning that previously housed hundreds of pinball games and arcade games will evolve into a facility that grows commercial cultivation.
One building covers more than 12,000 square feet, while the second one is 22,295 square feet, which will soon be equipped with grow rooms, a dry and trim room, a clone room, and office and storage space.
Banning’s city council went along with the recommendation of its planning commission to approve a pair of conditional use permits, since the operation will be in two separate buildings.
The property’s location is buffered from being within 600 feet of any youth-oriented facilities such as schools or day care centers, and the buildings qualify for the project since Banning’s zoning ordinance requires cultivators to operate in facilities that are larger than 10,000 square feet, but cannot exceed 22,000 square feet of canopy space.
Irvine-based Hathaway Diamondfly, LLC is listed as the applicant, and Palm Springs-based Weeks Investment Group, run by former Museum of Pinball site owner John Weeks, still owns the property.
It was formerly the Deutsche Electronics company’s 18-acre campus. Deutsche manufactured electrical connectors, and its operations included machining, plastics and rubber injection molding, and metal plating.
Last September Banning issued its first cannabis cultivator permit to Santa Monica-based Dominion Property Partners, LLC for its center at the corner of West Lincoln and Eighth streets, anticipating adding at least 14 jobs in the city.
No testing operations have been proposed for the Hathaway Diamondfly facility, but cultivation will be taxed at $5 per square foot of total canopy area for the first year, increasing to $10 at the start of the second year, taxable on a quarterly basis, Community Development Director Adam Rush explained to the Record Gazette.
According to Hathaway Diamondfly's consultant Laura Leindecker, the facility anticipates creating 50 to 60 jobs at the facility.
According to Rush, the number of employees at such facilities nearly quadruple for a few days every quarter during harvest periods.
At the June 22 city council meeting, the council approved both conditional use permits 4-1, with Councilman Kyle Pingree dissenting.
Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at email@example.com , and messages may be left at (951) 849-4586 x114.