The Martha’s Vineyard Commission voted Thursday night to approve plans for a large expansion of the Edgartown Stop & Shop store, subject to a list of conditions including another look at the building design.

The vote was 11-1 with two abstentions.

The vote came after about two and a half hours of debate about the project, which will involve a major overhaul of the upper Main street Edgartown store, nearly doubling the size as well as reconfiguring the parking lot. Commissioners pointed out that it is the largest grocery store, and one of the largest buildings, on the Island.

They agreed that traffic and the impact on abutters were concerns, but said in the end the benefits outweighed the detriments in terms of community convenience, contributions to housing and an improvement on the existing store.

Computer-generated illustration shows expanded store. MVC will require architectural changes to break up massing of building. — Courtesy Martha's Vineyard Commission

“The existing store is not the most attractive,” commissioner Joan Malkin said. “The expectation is that the entire thing as a new structure will actually be an improvement.”

But commissioner Doug Sederholm said increased traffic in a congested area was a major stumbling block.

“It’s going to be gridlock in that area in the summer in the peak hours,” he said. “That’s a tremendous negative.” Mr. Sederholm ended up voting yes and then changing his vote to an abstention. “I can’t vote for this,” he said.

Earlier this week the land use subcommittee had proposed reopening a public hearing because of concerns about the architecture, among other things. But on Thursday night commissioners decided to push through and bring the issue to a vote, instead addressing concerns with a list of conditions.

They include a return to the commission with a revised building design prior to obtaining a building permit. Commissioners said they wanted Stop & Shop to break up the front of the building and include elements more consistent with the Island.

Fred Hancock said he and other commissioners thought a new Stop & Shop store recently built on Nantucket could serve as a model.

“That was more in the direction we thought this should go,” Mr. Hancock said. Commissioners said they also admired the cedar shingles on the Nantucket store.

Other conditions focus on energy, transporation, noise, and Island character.

Stop & Shop will be required to install solar panels on the roof of the new building within three years of receiving a certificate of occupancy, build a fence to maintain quieter conditions for abutters, redesign the western entrance of the store to address concerns about traffic patterns, and build a shelter at the bus stop near the store.

Commissioners debated whether the company should be required to offer delivery services and a selection of local products.

Several commissioners argued that a delivery service would mitigate traffic around the store during the summer season, one of their main concerns.

“It feels like we haven’t been given much mitigation,” Kathy Newman said. “There are a couple of Island character issues that they haven’t been really responsive to.”

Others said delivery services could increase ferry traffic and was outside the commission’s jurisdiction.

“I find it almost offensive that this board is trying to tell Stop & Shop how to run their business,” commissioner Josh Goldstein said. “Telling someone how to run their business, whether economically feasible or not, is none of our damn business and we should stop.”

In the end the commission strongly advised looking into deliveries. “We don’t have on the record or for that matter even in our minds how effective this would be,” Linda Sibley said. “If it’ll make their customers happy they’ll do it.”

Commissioners also ended up encouraging the company to continue to provide local farmers or businesses an opportunity to sell products at the store, though some had argued that a commitment to local produce and other items should be required.

“I do think the store is going to have an impact on some of the local economies, whether deli, florist, or prepared food,” Ms. Malkin said. She said the commission should require affirmative steps to include local agriculture. “As it is, it’s a very passive local purchasing program.”

Ben Robinson said Stop & Shop should come up with a proposal. “This is potentially going to compete with local purveyors, but the idea is to expand production of food on the Island, and Stop & Shop represents a huge market share,” he said.

The proposed requirement prompted reaction from Geoghan Coogan, a Vineyard Haven attorney who is representing Stop & Shop. “That’s ridiculous,” he said. “You’re controlling what we can sell before it’s even built.”

Other commissioners agreed and questioned whether local farmers could even meet the demand.

Commissioner Leonard Jason Jr. pointed out the idea could create competition for nearby small businesses that sell local produce, like Morning Glory Farm or the farmers’ market, and didn’t address working with local fishermen.

On other fronts, the commission praised the plans. Chairman Jim Vercruysse said a housing proposal offered by Stop & Shop was “a large and very generous benefit to this project.”

Stop & Shop proposed a one-time payment of $26,670 to the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority in addition to an annual payment of $50,000, which would be reduced by $10,000 for each new housing unit Stop & Shop acquires for staff housing. According to commission documents, Stop & Shop currently rents 27 houses on the Island.

Others noted that the company donates to Island charities, and said some said a new fence behind the store could be an improvement over existing conditions.

The plan now goes to the Edgartown planning board for a special permit. Architectural changes are also expected to be a subject for discussion at the town level.

The roll call vote on Thursday was as follows: Clarence A. (Trip) Barnes 3rd., Leonard Jason Jr., Fred Hancock, Joan Malkin, Robert Doyle, Linda Sibley, Jim Vercruysse, Ernest Thomas, Kathy Newman, Gail Barmakian and Josh Goldstein voted yes. Ben Robinson voted no. Doug Sederholm and Richard Toole abstained.