quay hays

Quay Hays has thrown in the towel on his Quay Valley project in Kings County. File Photo

published on December 21, 2017 - 8:57 AM
Written by John Lindt

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

Hays sent a letter to the Kings County Community Development Agency on Dec. 6 withdrawing his application to found a 75,000-resident, 22,000-home community along Interstate 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, said Kings County 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,” said 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 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 space-age tube transportation technology. Suddenly, Quay Valley was on the map, and famous.

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

The vision was compelling — turning one of the most barren, dusty parts of California into a millennial’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.”

Hays did not return calls for comment.

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