CLEAR WATER (WQOW) – On Monday evening, the Eau Claire Plan Commission approved certain great permanent changes when it comes to Country Jam’s new home. Now, final approval is in the hands of the Eau Claire City Council.
The future site of Country Jam USA was annexed from the town of Wheaton to the town of Eau Claire a few weeks ago.
The new lands are located west of Highway T and south of 20th Avenue.
The proposed site plan includes eight permanent structures, the largest of which is a 37,000 square foot, 650 seat event center.
Other buildings include a stage, soundstage, production building, lower and upper buildings, shower building, and entrance booths.
Officials also hope to have 800 to 1,100 campsites and 1,600 to 2,000 grass parking spots.
Other planned developments in this area include a hotel, convenience store and restaurant.
Country Jam USA general manager Kathy Wright said she plans to use the site year-round for other purposes, such as corporate events and weddings.
“The city has been amazing to work with,” Wright said. “We’ve moved this project forward very quickly and we’re super proud of what we’re presenting and excited to be able to stay in this area and continue to do what we’re going to do this weekend for a very long time. We’re having the biggest impact economic impact on the community for tourism dollars and we are excited to continue to be here in Eau Claire and to remain part of our community.
While officials are excited about the move, some neighbors in the town of Wheaton aren’t so thrilled.
Alex Nemzek lives less than a mile from the new Country Jam site, and he worries about increased litter and noise if events were to happen year-round rather than a weekend like Country Jam .
“My wife and I are not very happy with it,” Nemzek said. “We know that on 20th Avenue here, we’re going to have a lot of traffic, noise, business. We moved here to the country because we want the country life.”
At the Monday evening meeting, an amendment was made to allow no more than 3 multi-day festivals per year on the new grounds. Commission members said the amendment was added to ensure nearby residents would not experience loud noise and lights every weekend.
Wright said if all plans and permits are approved, they hope to begin construction as soon as possible and hold their music festival in the summer of 2023.
She added that they had discussed with the town of Eau Claire and residents the possibility of doing a traffic analysis to determine how best to use the space and not disrupt the rurality of the area.
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