The Oak Bluffs conservation commission voted on Tuesday to refer a plan for a 317-foot public fishing pier to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, creating a new wrinkle for the state Department of Fish and Game which wants to build the pier.

The project aims to provide 24-hour public access for recreational fishing 200 feet north of the Steamship Authority terminal in Oak Bluffs. The L-shaped pier would also provide one of the only wheelchair-accessible fishing piers on the Island. It would be strictly for fishing; no swimming would be allowed from the pier, and no boats or dinghies would be allowed to tie up to it.

“We’re funding the project at no cost to Oak Bluffs,” Carlos Pena, vice president of Coastline Engineering said at the public hearing on Tuesday. He said the town’s only responsibility would be land management on a day-to-day basis.

About 20 residents of the North Bluff neighborhood attended the meeting to oppose the pier. They suggested it would be better on the south side of the Steamship Authority.

Some asked if the proposed location would even be a good spot to fish, sharing personal experiences of catching only bait fish. Commission chairman Joan Hughes said she thought that wouldn’t be an issue. One fisherman in the meeting nodded in agreement.

Oak Bluffs’s shellfish constable David Grunden expressed concern for the pier’s proximity to eelgrass beds, but Mr. Pena said the pier would be 50 feet away from any beds.

“It needs to fit into the overall beach restoration project,” Ms. Hughes said, referring to an ongoing project in that area of town.

“We want it to be part of the harbor walk and incorporate it into the new seawall,” Mr. Pena said.

There has long been an interest in creating a public fishing pier in Oak Bluffs, and many hoped that a pier would be incorporated into the new Steamship Authority wharf. But the SSA was unable to accommodate a pier, in part due to security and liability issues.

Oak Bluffs harbor master Todd Alexander wrote a letter questioning the vulnerability of a pier during northeast storms. He also said it would be hard to enforce the no-boat rule. “It’s a magnet for boats . . . Can it be designed so there is no possibility to tie up?”

David Nash, a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association, has formed an advisory group to back the project. “It’s an opportunity for people with physical disabilities to have access to fishing,” he told the conservation commission. “It’s an educational opportunity in the years to come.”

Ms. Hughes allowed some comments, but suggested that most might be best saved for the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, which will now review the project as a development of regional impact (DRI).

“There can be more public comment at a later time,” Ms. Hughes said. “But for now we’re not in a position to take action.”