A trio of pesky locust trees on the Edgartown Stop & Shop property consumed the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for nearly two hours Thursday night as commissioners discussed modifications to the flagship grocery store’s long-stalled renovation plans.

“I just want to say that I started this meeting with a headache,” commissioner Linda Sibley said as the proceedings trudged toward a close. “And it’s gotten worse.”

Approved by the commission in 2018, Stop & Shop intends to build approximately 17,000 square feet of additions to the existing 25,000-square-foot Edgartown store and perform significant site and landscape work, as well as demolish and rebuild a slightly larger Rockland Trust Bank building.

The plan had been held up in court for nearly 18 months after a neighbor objected to decisions by the planning board on the grounds that the new additions would cause undue shadows and noise on his property. A motion for summary judgment was granted in July 2019, clearing the way for the project to move forward.

In an email Friday, Stop & Shop attorney Geoghan Coogan confirmed that legal woes were no longer holding up the project and that the store hoped to begin construction in the fall of 2021.

But a condition in the commission’s 2018 approval required Stop & Shop to come back before the MVC with a redesigned western entrance before building permits could be issued. The condition also stated that the store was required to preserve three locust trees in the design.

On Thursday, those three trees proved a tricky Bermuda triangle for architects to navigate, as Stop & Shop presented a medley of alternatives for the store’s redesigned western entrance that included preserving, replacing and removing the trees.

Randy Hart, a traffic consultant for Stop & Shop, said during the meeting that the store had presented the new entrance to the Edgartown planning board earlier last month, and preferred a plan alternative that would remove the trees. The preferred redesign would consolidate the two western entrances into one, located across from Pinehurst Road, and expand the curb cut and parking area.

The store’s current one-way circulation plan would remain in place, Mr. Hart said, and new trees would be planted.

Erik Bednarek, a landscape architect, went into extensive detail regarding the pros and cons of removing the locust trees, saying that they risked root damage with the construction and would decline over time, even if the store preserved them.

Commissioners grappled over the redesigns and proposed alternatives for approximately an hour before voting that the applicant had adequately redesigned the entrance, that the changes did not require a public hearing, and that the applicant would have to return with a landscaping plan approved by a commission subcommittee that includes replacement trees.

“I’m one of the resident tree huggers who’s always obsessed about trees,” commissioner Linda Sibley said. “I want to say that when the Martha’s Vineyard Commission told them to save those three trees, it’s because we don’t want this place to look like an industrial wasteland. But there seems to have been tremendous agonizing about their traffic speed, their parking speed, all based on the notion that those particular three trees have to be saved.”

The votes were unanimous, except for the final two, in which commissioner Ben Robinson abstained and voted no.

In other business, the commission voted unanimously to reopen a public hearing on the Hob Knob Inn’s expansion plan. The inn pulled its plan in December after neighbors fumed over the proposal at public hearings.

A new proposal from the Hob Knob submitted this month removes a previously planned pool from the 128 Main Street property and adds parking so valet service is unnecessary, among other changes.