Quay Valley scaled-down plan

In February 2015, Grow Holdings LLC submitted a scaled-down plan to the Kings County Community Development Agency for Quay Valley, a futuristic city proposed for Kings County south of Kettleman City along Interstate 5. 

Kings County Community Development Agency

Developer Quay Hays has thrown in the towel on his ambitious “new town” proposed for western Kings County.

On Dec. 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 of 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.

“In the end - he just couldn't make it happen,” says Pedersen, chairman of the Kings County Board of Supervisors.

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 7,200-acre development in 2015.

That year he also announced another eye-popping co-venture with Hyperloop Transportation which 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 million to $150 million hyperloop project - like its host new city - stayed pretty much in dreamland although the company is trying to launch it elsewhere overseas.

The vision was interesting, however, 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 purer, the people are healthier and deeply enriched by the culture, where life is better.

Imagine Quay Valley, California.

Imagine beautiful homes near the 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.

John Lindt is an independent business reporter. He can be reached at sierra2thesea@gmail.com

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