A generous bequest for the town library, saving a shade tree and a liquor license warning for a downtown restaurant owner occupied the Edgartown selectmen at their meeting Monday.

With little fanfare or information, the selectmen accepted a gift of $574,000 for the town’s free public library. The donor has asked to remain anonymous, town administrator Pamela Dolby said.

Library director Lisa Sherman told the Gazette later that later trustees were informed of the bequest in April, and the money just came through.

“It was really a complete surprise. We were extremely overwhelmed. It is beyond wonderful,” she said.

She said the money will be placed in a protected trust that will allow it to benefit the library in perpetuity. “We are taking steps to be sure it lasts for a long time,” she said.

In other business, following a heated public hearing, selectmen voted to deny a request to remove a shade tree from a private home at 105 Main street.

Homeowners Daniel and Christine Santangelo applied for permission to remove the large silver maple following an extensive renovation project.

Mr. Santangelo told selectmen the tree is dead, a source of complaints from neighbors, and represents a danger from falling limbs.

During renovations, Mr. Santangelo widened the opening of a driveway fronting Pease’s Point Way from about 12 feet to 32 feet, and built a larger garage, according to testimony at the hearing. The tree now sits directly in front of the garage.

The Santangelos do not want to replace the tree, at least in the same spot.

“The tree doesn’t belong there, it’s dead,” Mr. Santangelo said. “I don’t have an issue with planting a tree somewhere other than smack in front of my garage door.”

The Edgartown historic district commission wrote a letter to selectman urging them to require a new tree be planted in the same spot.

“I take offense with the historic commission,” Mr. Santangelo said. “What they’ve done is be obstructionist the whole way, to the point where I had to sue them.”

Commission chairman Susan Catling said there is interest is in preserving the tree-lined character of the street.

“We don’t have any control over the tree, or the size of the curb cut,” Ms. Catling said. “Our suggestion would soften the large parking area, whether it’s that tree or another.”

Mr. Santangelo also ran afoul of the planning board, according to assistant Georgiana Greenough.

“He didn’t get a permit to change the curb cut,” Ms. Greenough told selectmen. “At some point he just widened the curb cut, without any permit. He just did it.”

Selectman Michael Donaroma was critical of the plan Mr. Santangelo presented to plant new trees. “It’s not a very good plan,” said Mr. Donaroma, who owns a large landscaping company. “I would have a hard time approving this plan.”

Selectmen also noted that after pruning and removal of dead limbs over the length of the long dispute, which has gone on for two years, the tree appears to have new growth.

“It’s coming back,” Mr. Donaroma said.

“Absent consensus and agreement between everybody, I agree with Mike,” said selectman Arthur Smadbeck. “The tree is going to be there a long time. I think we’re probably best to leave it the way it is.”

Selectmen voted 3-0 to deny the application and leave the tree standing.

Also Monday’s meeting, the board voted to sent a warning letter to the manager of Behind the Bookstore Cafe, after police responded to a noise complaint on July 4.

According to a report, the cafe was operating after 11 p.m., the closing time specified on its alcohol license. The cafe was also hosting a deejay and light show without an entertainment permit, according to the report.

“Because this is your first offense,” selectmen wrote in the letter, “we are giving you a written warning. Further violations will require a public hearing and suspension of your liquor license.”