The Edgartown homeowners whose plans to build a garage next to a historic tree sparked public outcry told town boards this week that they have scaled back their design in response to public concerns.

Architect Patrick Ahearn told the Edgartown historic district commission on Tuesday, and the conservation commission on Wednesday, that though they followed all the proper procedures, Tom and Mary Folliard have decided to pull their original plans and instead build a one-car garage on an existing foundation on the property and “leave everything else the way it is.”

The Folliards bought their harborfront house at 29 South Water street last year and are in the process of a major renovation project. The original garage plans would have been built over the roots of the 175-year-old pagoda tree, a landmark brought to the Vineyard in a flowerpot by a sea captain nearly two centuries ago.

In early November, the Edgartown conservation commission voted to reconsider preliminary approval they gave for a cantilevered garage that would rest partly on an existing foundation and partly on two 12-inch support piers in an effort to reduce the impact of the new structure on the pagoda tree’s root system. The decision to reconsider the approval came after town selectmen expressed concerns that the work could damage the tree, and members of the public weighed in with concern about the tree on the Gazette website and elsewhere.

Mr. Ahearn, who represented the Folliards, said the project got approval from the conservation commission after four public meetings with no negative comments and that independent arborists and the town tree warden concluded that the plan was beneficial to the tree. But after selectmen voiced concern about the plan, Mr. Ahearn said, “a series of very negative pointed comments and emails were directed to the Folliards very much to their dismay.” Mr. Ahearn said the Folliards plan to make the Edgartown home their primary residence when they retire and Mr. Folliard “doesn’t want to be vilified in the press, he doesn’t want to be viewed as a negative person.”

He later told the conservation commission that the process has caused the Folliards “considerable angst, to say the least. They felt they were vilified in many ways.”

The architect said that in the past there were two garages on the property, one quite close to the tree.

“We’re proposing to do nothing,” architect Patrick Ahearn told the conservation commission Wednesday night. He said that when the Folliards purchased the property, there was an existing one-car garage and the foundation of that garage continues to be intact. The plan is to put the garage back on the same foundation, he said, with some cantilevering to make the garage a little wider.

The project required permission from the historic district commission because it sits in the historic district. The commission unanimously approved the revised project Tuesday after asking Mr. Ahearn to change the design of the garage door from a rounded top to a square top. “It’s not Edgartown,” said commissioner Edith Blake.

Commission chairman James Cisek said one of the conditions of approval was “absolutely no digging” on or around the foundation of the house.

On Wednesday, the conservation commission rescinded its earlier approval and order of conditions. Because the new project does not require breaking ground, the conservation commission concluded that it no longer needs approval at all.

With the one-car garage, Mr. Ahearn said, the Folliards “can go on and finish their project without being castigated in any way, shape or form.” He added:

“The selectmen don’t have to have their hands tarnished in any way about something happening to the tree, and the tree will continue on its life as it has been over these last hundred-plus years.

“This solution is something that the Folliards can embrace. I think it solves a lot of political issues that have come up that no one had anticipated.”