Amid concerns about future growth and obstruction from Island trees, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission last week continued a public hearing on a plan by Verizon to extend the height of a communication tower off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road from 77 to 130 feet.

Uncertain about the tower’s viability in the long term and need in the short term, commissioners agreed to seek the advice of an independent arborist.

The tower currently handles all Verizon land line service for the Island via narrow-width microwave, including for police, fire and EMT departments, and 911 service. It also provides internet access and reroutes service from Nantucket.

Verizon wants to raise the tower by 53 feet to give the structure an unobstructed radio line of sight to its sister tower in Falmouth. According to documents from the telecommunications company, there are currently 22 trees that at least partially block the tower’s microwave path, leading to poor signals and weak service for Island landlines and emergency services calls. The lowest radio panel of the proposed 130-foot tower would clear any tree above 100 feet.

But with data now available on the particular species and location of each of those 22 trees, commissioners said at a public hearing last week they want a better understanding of how the trees grow to determine whether 130 feet is too tall, or not tall enough.

“I have no doubt that at the present time, at the height of the tower, the trees are impinging on that,” commissioner Fred Hancock said. “My question is do we need to raise it 50 feet to remedy this problem, or is it at 50 feet that they never have to raise this tower again?”

Geoghan Coogan, a Vineyard Haven attorney representing Verizon, said three or four of the trees are Norwegian spruces, which grow at a rate of two to three feet per year and can reach heights taller than 100 feet. At that rate, they would potentially interfere with the extended tower in about 10 years. But Mr. Coogan said Verizon capped the predicted height of the trees at 100 feet because it’s rare for trees to grow that tall on the Island.

“On the Vineyard, these trees will typically not get over 100 feet because of wind conditions,” he said.

But commissioners wanted to confirm the numbers with an independent tree expert before proceeding.

“It would be interesting to know what the difference is between the 100-foot cap and the original one,” Commissioner Ben Robinson said. “We want to make sure they aren’t overbuilding this tower, because the aesthetic issue is a big deal.”

The public hearing was continued to Dec. 6. Meanwhile, executive director Adam Turner will prepare questions for the arborist.

In other business last Thursday, the commission voted to not review the demolition of a non-historic house at 284 Main street in Edgartown. The applicant wants to replace the building with a four-unit mixed commercial and residential condominium.

The commission also voted to not review a small modification to the Barn and Bowl Bistro’s kitchen expansion plan. The previous plan, approved in April, was to increase the kitchen space by 260 square feet. The restaurant will now increase the kitchen space by 160 square feet, and add a garbage and recycling shed, along with a small residential porch.

The Nova Vida Church was also granted a six-month extension on plans to expand the Oak Bluffs church with a day care facility. The commission approved the expansion in 2014, but the project has stalled and the applicant is due to return with a revised landscape and parking plan.