Lewis Griswold

Kings County to hold workshops about Quay Valley project

The proposed Quay Valley new town in rural Kings County appears to be moving forward, because the county is holding informational meetings for the public to ask questions.

The town would be built near Interstate 5 north of the Kern County line.

The Kings County Planning Department will hold three community workshops:

▪ April 19 in Hanford at the Kings County Board of Supervisors chambers

▪ April 20 in Kettleman City at the community center

▪ April 25 in Corcoran at Corcoran City Hall.

Meetings begin at 6 p.m.

Quay Valley initially was proposed several years ago by developer Quay Hays, who last year made a splash by reviving it on a smaller scale.

He envisions 26,000 homes and apartments on 7,175 acres of what is now largely rangeland.

County staff will open the informational meetings by explaining what steps are required by Kings County to get a new town approved under its new community application and processing procedure.

After the county’s presentation, GROW Holdings LLC, a development company in Los Angeles, will give its presentation about Quay Valley.

There will be a question and answer session.

One of the key questions is: Where would the water come from?

“That has been the No. 1 question our county has wanted addressed,” said Greg Gatzka, community development director. “We asked for detailed information to be provided upfront.”

According to the developer’s Preliminary Design Plan submitted last month, potable water would come from the nearby California Aqueduct.

More specifically, the water would come from imported supplies that Dudley Ridge Water District gets from the State Water Project.

Permanent water rights from the State Water Project would need to be purchased. In dry years, water would come from on- and off-site water banks.

Gatzka said water supply issues would get greater scrutiny in the next phase, and California Environmental Quality Act standards would apply.

After the informational meetings, the county will review the project’s effect on public services and other issues. The county has six months to complete the review.

NEW FIRE STATION: Fire Station 53 opened last week in southwest Visalia.

“It’ll be here 75 to 100 years,” Fire Chief Doug McBee said at an opening celebration.

The station on West Walnut Avenue east of Akers Street is on a site formerly owned by Visalia Unified School District, and before that by College of the Sequoias when it was part of the old COS farm.

One fire engine will be stationed there, staffed by a captain, engineer/driver and firefighter-paramedic.

There are now six fire stations in Visalia, population 130,753. The new fire station was built to improve response time in the southwest to 4 1/2 minutes from departure, or 6 minutes from the first 911 call.

The $3.1 million project used Measure T half-cent sales tax money and developer impact fees.

Lewis Griswold covers the news of the South Valley for The Fresno Bee: 559-441-6104, lgriswold@fresnobee.com, @fb_LewGriswold