An expansion planned by the owners of Tropical restaurant at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven will bypass review by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

The commission decided at its meeting last Thursday that the 2,224-square-foot expansion did not need review as a development of regional impact (DRI).

The expansion will replace an existing one-story building with the same footprint. Plans presented by Larkin B. Reeves, a trustee on behalf of the Sawyer Realty Group, and engineer John Lolley call for commercial uses on the first floor and a market-rate apartment on the floors above.

A proposal to create studio spaces at the site was approved by the commission in 2003, but never carried out. A later proposal to have a single two-bedroom apartment instead was approved in 2005 but also never came to fruition.

Much of the discussion focused on the consequences of building in a floodplain, although Mr. Larkin said the plans will comply with FEMA regulations and are an improvement over the current design.

DRI coordinator Paul Foley said a requirement to raise commercial structures above flood level will not apply in this case, since the renovations will not exceed 50 per cent of the property’s assessed value ($1.6 million).

The commission land use planning committee had voted unanimously to recommend not reviewing the project, and the plan drew mostly minor concerns. But some commissioners questioned the idea of building in a flood zone.

“Seems to me a little without forethought in what we hear is going to happen the next 20 years,” said Kathy Newman, although she acknowledged that the rules have been followed. “I just hope we can do a better job.”

“Five Corners floods already; it’s going to flood a whole lot more,” said Christina Brown, who asked whether concrete walls required to protect the new first floor will exacerbate future flooding in the area by displacing water.

Mr. Foley said even in a category three hurricane such as the one that struck the Vineyard in 1938, the displaced water would have no effect.

The project requires a special permit from the town planning board, and approval by the town building inspector.

Commissioner Josh Goldstein who is also a member of the Tisbury sewer advisory board, said the board has granted a request for additional sewage flow. And commissioner Ben Robinson, a member of the town planning board and site plan review committee, said the committee has reviewed the project and made some adjustments.

Mr. Lolley clarified that the residential unit would be available as a year-round rental, although Mr. Hancock pointed out that it would be rented at market rate.

“It’s not going to be full of college kids,” commissioner Doug Sederholm said, alluding to concerns about noise. “It’s going to be way too expensive.”

In other business, the commission approved a written decision for a medical marijuana cultivation center in West Tisbury. Following commission approval in June, the project has returned to the town zoning board of appeals for review. The zoning board opened a public hearing last week that was continued to July 27.

Commissioners paused to remember John Folino Jr., a commercial builder who died in June and had appeared before the commission to represent projects.

“When he sat at that table, he engendered so much confidence,” said Joan Malkin. “You just knew that what he said was honest.”

“Since I’ve been here I don’t think there is anybody that’s been before the commission more,” said executive director Adam Turner.