Country Thunder and Randall to work together on getting new zoning from county

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The map above shows the Shadow Hill Ranch property.

Randall officials and representatives of the Country Thunder Music Festival are pledging to work together to get new zoning approved for the festival’s property from the county — and therefore keep it in Randall.

Country Thunder is interested in holding events almost year round, but can’t under its current zoning. Previous efforts to change the zoning have been defeated at the county level, said Richard Baak, one of the owners of the site.

In frustration over the zoning, Baak said he has sought an annexation to Twin Lakes. As a village, Twin Lakes makes its own zoning decisions. Final zoning authority in Randall, a town, rests with the county.

Since the application, Country Thunder officials have had conversations with individual Randall officials, expressing a desire to stay in Randall if possible. Baak would like to have Randall help Country Thunder approach the county about the zoning. If he could stay in Randall with the new zoning, he would withdraw the annexation petition.

“We really appreciate what Randall did for us,” Baak said.

Chairman Bob Stoll said the town is willing to help.

“We’re committed to working with Shadow Hill and the county to make this happen,” Stoll said.

Country Thunder draws tens of thousands of people to Randall each summer for a multi-day music festival with big name country music acts.  The town receives a share of every ticket sold and would do so as well if the property could hold further events with more than 1,000 tickets.

The discussion arose because Country Thunder was seeking a conditional use permit for this year’s festival. That permit was favorably recommended to the Town Board by the Plan Commission and the Town Board also made a favorable recommendation to the County Board.


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