The addition of a film festival to Grange Hall activities has led some in town hall to require a new special permit for the historic facility, though the Vineyard Preservation Trust, which owns and operates the hall, says ongoing talks may make a permit unnecessary.

When the Trust announced in December that it was leasing the second floor of Grange Hall to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival on a long-term basis, town officials generally were welcoming of the nonprofit newcomer to West Tisbury’s historic town center. But over the summer, some West Tisbury officials have raised objections to what they say is heavier use of the property than they had envisioned, with movie screenings several nights a week and children’s programming on Wednesday afternoons.

At a West Tisbury planning board meeting in July, chair Virginia Jones raised concerns about the intensified activity.

“Suddenly we’ve gone … to being a very busy town at night in West Tisbury, and that was not what was anticipated,” Ms. Jones said.

Planning board member Amy Upton spoke up for the festival, saying the organizers have good intentions.

“Because we’re not used to it ... it’s coming on a little strong,” Ms. Upton said at the meeting in July.

“But in their defense, they really are a lovely group of people doing really wonderful things and I feel like we’re lucky to have them in West Tisbury,” she added.

“Instead of feeling like they’re sort of invading our quiet little town … maybe we can just talk to them about taking it easy on us and going slow,” Ms. Upton said.

Building inspector Joe Tierney subsequently determined that the trust needs to apply for a special permit from the town zoning board of appeals for an “extension or alteration” of the building’s use.

At an appeal before the ZBA on August 4, Trust executive director Nevette Previd, film festival executive director Brian Ditchfield and attorneys Rob McCarron and Marilyn Vukota argued that the films, many of them documentaries, and the afternoon Cinema Circus are educational and charitable activities that are permitted as pre-existing, non-conforming uses of the Grange.

According to Mr. Tierney, however, these uses have intensified to the point that a special permit is required.

After a nearly two-hour hearing, the ZBA ruled unanimously that the trust needs to apply for the special permit, which would then be considered at a future hearing.

But in a subsequent phone conversation with the Gazette, Ms. Previd said negotiations are continuing between the trust and the town and that she has not applied for a special permit.

“We’re working in collaboration with the building inspector and the zoning board of appeals,” she said. “I’m hoping we come to an amenable solution … We are still in discussions of what that looks like.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Previd said, the Grange movies and Cinema Circus children’s camp will go on as scheduled.

“It’s business as usual,” she said.