The small park space on Main street in Edgartown is once again the subject of discussion as the town has taken steps toward purchasing it.

The town Community Preservation Committee unanimously recommended spending $1,953,000 on the purchase of the mini-park during its meeting last Thursday.

The ultimate decision will be up to voters at the spring annual town meeting.

“I feel as if this is partly historic as well as conservation,” said Edgartown conservation commission member Christina Brown.

Long owned by the Hall family, the property was once the site of a movie theatre. The Elm Theatre burned in 1961 and a fence was put up around the lot. In 1977, Edgartown conservation commission member Ralph Grant approached the late Alfred Hall about turning the lot into a park.

“The fence, pieces of which have been removed temporarily now and again, is gone for good,” a 1977 Gazette story said of the efforts to make the park. The old cellar was filled in and the theatre’s concrete steps removed. Selectmen provided benches for the space.

According to a 1977 Gazette editorial, “The Edgartown green came into existence almost overnight, the bright turf being unrolled like a carpet. Ample watering took care of the rest.”

The town has leased the 6,840-square-foot property from the Hall family since 1979. Most people think it is a town-owned park, Mrs. Brown said.

“It would feel as if the time has come to make the official transfer from renting it to owning it,” she said, adding that nothing would change in the appearance of the park itself with an ownership transfer.

Benjamin Hall Jr., Alfred Hall’s grandson, attended the meeting and urged the committee to vote down the item. He said the Hall family felt the price was “exceedingly low,” and that there was not a consensus within the family that the property should be sold.

The property was assessed at $1.76 million in 2011.

“We’ve been renting it to the town for an exceedingly small amount of money, approximately one per cent of what they’re asking today,” Mr. Hall told the committee. “We don’t foresee any changes in that arrangement.”

He suggested that the money could be spent on putting a park in Ocean Heights or on affordable housing.

“There are other places that I think the CPC money could be better spent,” Mr. Hall said. He said there were also benefits to having the park under private ownership.

“If the town owns that park, it becomes public property that subjects it to use by members of the public in a way that might not be compatible with the wishes of the general public of the town,” he said. Most recently, he said, the family had been approached by the Vineyard Peace Council about hosting a protest in the park; they turned it down because they felt it would offend many veterans.

“Because it’s private property, we can respectfully say no,” Mr. Hall said.

In closing his request, Mr. Hall reminded the committee that the back space of the lot could be developed into retail space, a potential boon to the B-1 business district.

But the CPC approved the park application, which falls under the open space and recreation part of its mission, with no further discussion. This is not the first time the town has discussed taking ownership of the property. In 1985, voters at town meeting approved $300,000 for the purchase of the park but could not come to an agreement with Alfred Hall. Twenty years later, voters rejected an article to take the property by eminent domain. In 2011, the town was set to allot money toward purchasing the park, but decided against it before the annual meeting.

The item was the largest on a list of community preservation funding proposals that included everything from restoring an old painting to lifeguard stands. The committee gave the green light to a total of more than $2.9 million in funding.