A longstanding grievance by abutters over the use of a Katama property leased by Donaroma’s Nursery and Landscape Services simmered over into the Edgartown selectmen’s meeting Monday.

The dispute centers on whether Donaroma’s is overstepping an agricultural-use exemption from zoning and violating permitting requirements for a composting operation on a property located at 51 Road to the Plains.

Michael Donaroma, who owns the landscaping company, is an Edgartown selectman and recused himself from the discussion Monday.

The other two selectmen agreed that they would defer enforcement of alleged permitting violations to state officials, after hearing the complaints. And Mr. Donaroma agreed after the meeting to cease composting operations on the property at the town’s request until an expert from the state DEP arrived on the site, according to emails among town officials provided to the Gazette.

“I am willing to suspend the composting operation at the farm as requested. The planting operations will continue,” Mr. Donaroma wrote to health agent Matt Poole Tuesday morning.

The property under question is owned by Robert S. Daniels, according to land records. The Daniels family leases the property to Donaroma’s landscaping.

The property is in a residential zone but has an exemption from zoning for farming and agricultural purposes. It also is permitted for composting use by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

At the meeting Monday, abutter Charlie Sennott said issues of loud noises and noxious odors from the property have plagued his family going back six years, and he argued that the current use of the land exceeded the normal bounds of farming and instead qualified as industrial or manufacturing use. Mr. Sennott has organized a petition and is currently engaged in civil litigation regarding the property as well.

During the meeting, Mr. Sennott played a video from June 27 of a large composting machine and excavator operating on the property, which can be seen from his porch.

“That’s our property, that’s our home, that’s our front yard. You are seeing an industrial operation right outside our window,” Mr. Sennott said. “This odor is so bad that we had to leave the property. It was literally making us ill.”

Mr. Sennott and his attorney Christopher Maffucci also argued that the proximity of compost piles and processing machinery to his property and well violated zoning and public health laws. He requested enforcement at the town level and said he was disappointed the town had not previously addressed the concerns.

But town officials argued that agricultural use of the property makes it exempt from residential zoning, and tied the town’s hands with regard to zoning enforcement. Instead, they said they had requested that experts from the state DEP take a look at the property with regard to the composting operation.

“The DEP has jurisdiction over this type of a composting operation,” said town counsel Ronald H. Rappaport, who attended the meeting. “And the requirements that are referenced in the communication, including a 250-foot setback between a well and composting activity . . . are not something that the town has jurisdiction over. DEP does.”

Mr. Rappaport and health agent Matt Poole said that after a site visit to the property they determined the operation gave off a “slight whiff” but was not strong enough to constitute a health hazard that would be enforced locally. Building inspector Reade Milne also said that after research the use of the property likely qualified as an agricultural exemption, meaning that the town likely couldn’t enforce alleged zoning violations.

Officials said they would wait for an assessment from the state.

“I think it’s important to get DEP down here to look at this,” Mr. Poole said. “[Mr. Sennott] raised some points and some frustrations of living beside this activity that I completely understand. But we can have a specialist come down who is in the licensing and registration division at DEP, who can look at this with an experienced, expert eye, and we’ll see what their thoughts are.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Donaroma has agreed to cease the composting operations until the state DEP expert examines the property, after a request from Mr. Poole.

In other business, selectmen heard an update on their MOU with the Boys and Girls Club, which hopes to eventually construct a new facility at a property off the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. The MOU was agreed upon at town meeting but has not yet been signed. The agreement involves a complex land deal between the town and the club, swapping land for valuable town-owned easements.

Officials attributed the signing delays to communication issues and expected the document to get signed this Thursday.

Selectmen also voted unanimously to allow TestMV to hang a banner in town advertising the free, comprehensive testing site.