Neighbors in West Tisbury can expect to bid farewell to the historic firehouse building on Old Courthouse Road.

The land use planning subcommittee of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission voted unanimously Monday night to recommend that the building be moved or demolished, pending full commission approval. The recommendation only authorizes changes for the purpose of building affordable housing on the site.

“There are losses here. It’s an adorable little building . . . but affordable housing is far more important to the community,” said committee chairman Linda Sibley, who represents West Tisbury.

The West Tisbury planning board voted unanimously in January to back a request from the selectmen to demolish the building, but due to its historical significance, the demolition must clear the commission as a development of regional impact (DRI). The building is more than 100 years old and once housed government offices.

The old fire house is visible from State Road in West Tisbury. According to the town, the building dates to 1895, but a Vineyard Gazette article from 1956 traces the building back even further, to the 1880s. The building housed the West Tisbury town hall until the 1940s. After that, it served as the town’s fire department. In recent years, following construction of the new emergency services facility, it has been used primarily for storage.

West Tisbury selectmen have endorsed removal of the fire house, with selectman Kent Healy, who is also a civil engineer, inspecting the building himself last week. He concluded that the building would need extensive structural renovations in order to be considered safe for use.

On Monday night, the land use planning committee agreed to include a stipulation that the town attempt to move the building before demolishing it, requiring that the town put out a request for bids that will be open for six weeks.

“The building is over 100 years old,” said committee member Ben Robinson from Tisbury. “The town’s schedule is not that critical for two bedrooms of affordable housing.”

Town administrator Jennifer Rand agreed that moving the building would be preferable with a reasonable bid.

“It is a municipality. Nothing happens quickly. So I don’t think you need to be concerned that there will be a rush job to demolish the building,” she said.

There was no public comment at the committee meeting Monday night, but some neighbors with properties near the site have spoken up in favor of preserving the building.

“Our hope is to see the building saved in one form or another, if at all practical,” said a letter to the commission, signed by more than a dozen neighbors, earlier this month. They also requested that in the event of demolition, the soil on the site be tested and that a single family house be built on the property rather than multi-unit housing.

An inspection in 2005 identified the presence of lead paint in samples from the garage doors and window sills on the interior and exterior of the building. Asbestos and mercury were also found.

The committee stipulated that in the event of a demolition, salvageable parts of the building, including the granite slabs that make up its foundation and many of the planks that make up the framing, be saved and reused.

The commission is expected to take a formal vote on the demolition on March 8. If the demolition is approved, West Tisbury voters will decide at a town meeting whether to transfer the building to the responsibility of the affordable housing committee for development.

In other business, the land use committee reviewed and approved with minor changes preliminary plans from the town of Oak Bluffs conservation commission for the East Chop stabilization project, which includes raising and expanding the revetment along the northeastern shoreline of that town.

The committee acknowledged the impact the project will have on roadways and residents in the area and emphasized the importance of doing work in the off-season.