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Throwing in the towel on Quay Valley

December 20.2017

Developer Quay Hays has thrown in the towel on his ambitious “new town” proposed for western Kings County. On December 6 Hays sent a letter to Kings County Community Development withdrawing his application to found a 75,000 resident community along I-5, south of Kettleman City – asking for any deposits on file to be returned. The project, probably not the last big idea to emerge out the tumbleweeds of the westside, was indeed a “very tall order” to make happen, shrugs Kings Supervisor Craig Pedersen. He cited hurdles Quay Valley faced including continuing litigation over water and the huge expense of starting from scratch to launch a new city.

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“In the end – he just couldn’t make it happen” says Pedersen, chair of the board.

Originally proposed in 2007, Quay Valley was tied up in a 2010 court battle over water rights, the outcome of which is not clear. Hays felt confident enough to file a new zoning application for his 7200 acre development in 2015. That year he also announced another eye popping co-venture with Hyperloop Transportation who vowed to break ground in 2016 on a 5-mile test track for their  space age tube transportation technology. Suddenly, Quay Valley was on the map – and famous.

But 2016 came and went and the $100 to $150 million hyperloop project – like its host new city –  stayed pretty much in dream land although the company is trying to launch it elsewhere overseas.

The vision was interesting however, the idea of turning what is one of the most barren, dusty parts of California into a millennium’s dream community, a green oasis. Here’s how Quay Valley’s marketing material put it.

“Imagine a place where every day the air is cleaner, the water is more pure, the people are healthier and deeply enriched by the culture, where life is better.

Imagine Quay Valley, California.

Imagine beautiful homes near water, open space, and organic agriculture, with front porches on well-ordered, tree-lined lanes with walkways. At the same time, you see people you know on a first name basis and families boating on a local waterway. These are typical scenes played out on a daily basis in each of several planned villages within Quay Valley.”

That was the dream. The reality is the tumbleweeds.

Hays did not return calls for comment.


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