A re-routed roadway running partly across a wetland, a new, more northerly location for the parking lot and removal of an oceanfront stone revetment are among the highlights of draft recommendations from the town committee on Squibnocket. The committee will not recommend the so-called dune ridge solution proposed by one of two homeowner groups that are vying for the best plan.

Appointed last spring, the committee has been studying possible solutions at the beach, where rapid erosion threatens the only road into a large subdivision of private homes as well as a town parking lot that fronts a stretch of town-owned beachfront. The issue involves complicated questions of environmental engineering amid natural coastal processes and has been politically fraught.

A public meeting is planned for this month to air the committee’s recommendations. And at a special town meeting in early February voters are expected to again have a chance to decide on a coastal restoration plan for the Squibnocket shorefront.

Last week the committee unanimously approved its draft recommendation.

There are two alternatives, coming against a backdrop of proposals made by two homeowner groups near the beach whose competing efforts have dominated the committee’s work since June. One group is the Squibnocket Farm Association; the other is the Friends of Squibnocket, which includes some homeowners in Blacksmith Valley.

The first alternative and the one preferred by the committee features a one-lane road beginning about 200 feet north of the beach and running along Squibnocket Pond to the west before connecting to Squibnocket Farm. Much of the road would pass through wetlands and would be raised four or five feet.

The second alternative is a slightly revised version of a plan crafted by the town last year and narrowly rejected by voters at the annual town meeting in April. That plan would build a 15-foot high raised causeway to the beach and the private homes; it would also relocate the parking lot and remove the revetment. In the revisions, the committee has slightly relocated the raised causeway and moved the parking lot away from the viewsheds of beachfront homeowners.

In both alternatives the committee backed away from the idea of building a large dune ridge to buffer the effects of ongoing erosion, at least for now.

Reservations about that part of the proposal included the need to fill wetlands and also the fact that members of the Squibnocket Farm Homeowners Association have found the solution unacceptable, based on the advice of experts.

“The dune . . . seems to be a problem in many categories,” said committee member Dan Greenbaum.

Moving the road farther north will avoid erosion from the south shore. Mr. Greenbaum said according to U.S. Geological Survey, the beach could take 25 to 50 years to reach the western end of the proposed causeway.

“I think it’s logical,” said Janet Widener of the committee’s preferred alternative. “This way we can have the parking kind of segregated and not have so many cars in the midst of people and drop-offs,” she added.

“I think it sums up a lot of things, and keeps some options open and covers all the bases as near as I can see,” agreed committee member Steven Flanders.

Based on free estimates provided to the committee by Island excavator John Keene, chairman Jim Malkin said a gravel parking lot for 50 cars would cost about $35,000 and removing the revetment would cost around $20,000. Mr. Keene suggested reusing the boulders for use in retaining walls at the new parking lot.

“In terms of cost I think we’re in reasonable shape,” Mr. Malkin said.

But other issues remain unsettled.

The committee’s preferred alternative would depend on leasing or acquiring two parcels of land, each assessed at about $148,000, for the parking lot. One lot is owned by Wendy Jeffers and Tony Orphanos, and the other lot is owned by Peter Weldon. The committee is in communication with both landowners about the possible use of one or both lots for a parking lot and road.

Also it is unclear whether one key aspect of the earlier plan rejected by voters can be incorporated into a new plan. The earlier plan would have included a land swap involving the Squibnocket Farm Homeowners Association, the Vineyard Open Land Foundation and the town. The swap would add to the town beachfront holdings but would hinge on a purchase and lease arrangement with the other two groups. Mr. Malkin held out hope that that part of the deal can be resurrected, especially now that the dune ridge solution is off the table.

Committee member Bill Meegan worried that the second alternative would leave people with the same concerns they had in April. But Ms. Widener called it an improvement. “What’s here does eliminate some of the sore points of that proposal,” she said. “The parking would still be out of sight of most people, so that’s one improvement, anyway.”

Meanwhile, if the draft recommendation is approved, a new countdown will begin. The draft recommends that the town “use its best efforts to reach agreements to proceed with the preferred alternative within a 90-day period . . . If agreement is not reached within 90 days, it is recommended that the second alternative be pursued.”

Chris Murphy, who was an outspoken opponent of the proposal in April, thanked the committee for its work. “I think the town will be pleased to vote what you have recommended,” he said. “It’s coming out to be something that seems to leave a little wiggle room for everybody. I think it’s very thoughtfully done.”

The draft recommendation will be presented at a public meeting on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Chilmark Community Center. The committee hopes to develop a final recommendation before Christmas and bring it to voters at a special town meeting on Feb. 9.