Crawfish Shack granted home biz permit


By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly

Sunday, March 10, 2019

HERTFORD — The owners of the Crawfish Shack in Perquimans County have won approval to operate their 250-seat, 2,600-square-foot special events venue as a home-based business.

The Perquimans Board of Commissioners voted last week to grant Crawfish Shack owners Marty and Sheryl Hurdle a conditional use permit to use their business at 305 Swing Gate Road as a home-based business.

When the Hurdles opened the Crawfish Shack a few years ago, they were looking for a way to sell cooked crawfish they raised on site. Selling farm products like pond-raised crawfish on the farm where they are raised is considered OK under county ordinances.

But the Crawfish Shack has expanded over the years to become an event venue. To be able to host weddings and other events as a home-based business, the Hurdles needed a conditional use permit from the county.

The three neighbors who spoke at Monday’s quasi-judicial hearing on the Hurdles’ permit request said the Crawfish Shack is a good business, and they had no problems with the request.

Darlene Baines, who said she lives across the street, called it a nice place.

“It’s a great place for seniors like me, but also for young-in's,” she said.

Jim Baines described the Hurdles as phenomenal.

“They’re a great asset for the county and for Hertford,” he said. “They are so professional and they give back to the community.”

To approve the conditional use permit, the commission board had to find the Hurdles’ request did not materially endanger the public health or safety, met the required conditions and specifications in the county’s ordinances, didn’t substantially injure the value of adjoining or abutting property, and would be in harmony with the surrounding area.

Previous boards of commissioners had to agree to all four conditions on projects far more controversial — the Amazon and Apex Clean Energy wind farms being two examples. Perquimans commissioners approved the Amazon project. Commissioners did not approve the portion of the Apex project scheduled to be built in Perquimans, however.

The Crawfish Shack, by contrast, was non-controversial.

The county planner said the Hurdles agreed not to hold events past 11 p.m. and even though the Perquimans Health Department said they could, the Hurdles have agreed not to use a kitchen unless they’re hosting a big event such as a wedding or a fundraiser. The Crawfish Shack has hosted two fundraisers to raise money to help families with autistic children.