The Chilmark Planning board this week debated requiring special permits in order to build large houses — the latest movement in a series of efforts to curb the development of so-called McMansions on Island.

At a meeting with members of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission on Monday, Chilmark planning board members considered issuing special permits for homes that exceed a certain size. Doing so would allow the planning board to review, and potentially reject, certain large-scale homes.

Currently, anyone who seeks to build a new home in Chilmark must present their plans to a site review committee, a board made up of representatives from the board of health, selectmen, historical commission, planning board and conservation commission. But the site review committee’s ruling is only on recommendation, and not compulsory.

Planning board members said the special permits could serve as a short-term means of exercising regulation, while giving the town time to explore the pitfalls of crafting long-term changes to bylaws.

Speaking at the meeting Monday, Martha’s Vineyard Commission executive director Mark London said requiring special permits for homes that exceed a certain square footage could be the easiest way to begin the perilous, legally questionable regulation process.

“You could start out by making [a certain square footage] the threshold. It doesn’t mean you’re prohibiting these buildings . . . this is a special permit and is not just site plan review,” said Mr. London. “If it’s really problematic you could deny it. I think that would stand up in court.”

In a phone interview on Wednesday, planning board chairman Janet Weidner said special permits were just one of many options to consider.

“To a large extent, we as a town are not sure what the best thing is to do,” said Ms. Weidner. “Going through the special permit process for houses of a certain size might give us a chance for breathing room. It will give us another level of review — see how it goes for a year and then maybe we can put something in bylaws.”

Anything the planning board does will involve many considerations, she said, including setting criteria for the planning board and zoning board of appeals. “We may come up with some ideas on that front,” she said. “I like the idea in general. I think it has a lot of merit, but we have to do our homework and think it through.”

The planning board also is looking at bolstering or expanding the existing district of critical planning (DCPC) regulations. Chilmark currently has roadside and waterways DCPCs, regulations that limit development.

MVC senior planner Bill Veno said the planning board should identify key issues with large houses.

“DCPCs are sometimes called super zoning,” Mr. Veno said. “With the housing, the views, you have to identify what is it that people are upset about that you think you want to try to have a better handle on. . . . All the communities are stumbling with what is it that doesn’t seem right in some cases.”

Architect Phil Regan of Hutker Architects in Vineyard Haven cautioned against DCPCs. The entire town of Aquinnah is a DCPC and he said the challenges architects face there always prove to be lengthy.

“I can tell you, between Aquinnah and Nantucket, you have two of the more difficult processes you can go through,” he said.

Mr. Regan said because the process in Aquinnah takes so long, viewpoints frequently change as new members come on and off the board. He advocated for a ratio of building to lot size, something similar to what they have on Nantucket. “I’d love to see guidelines and rules to tell me exactly what they can do from the outside so it’s black and white and less gray,” he added.

In January the board took up the subject of large houses and how to regulate them after a house under construction on Quitsa Pond caused a flood of comments from town residents alarmed at the size of the house and its visibility.

The commission also has taken up the issue of regulating the size of large homes, and held a public hearing last December on whether to include the so-called mega-mansions as a part of their development of regional impact (DRI) checklist. Adding house size to the DRI checklist would trigger a review and approval by the MVC.

Mr. London suggested holding an Island-wide planning board meeting to discuss the best practices on the Island.

“I wonder if it wouldn’t be worthwhile to have one person from each planning board or [board] administrator get together and throw it around — what do people do they think works well?”