At a speedy special town meeting Tuesday, Edgartown voters easily approved a new affordable housing development off Meshacket Road and a temporary moratorium on marijuana establishments.

But they debated at length before approving a bylaw banning public marijuana consumption, questioning whether it was overly broad and wondering if the smoking ban should extend to cigarettes as well.

Longtime moderator Philip J. Norton. — Mark Alan Lovewell

There was activity outside the meeting too, with affordable housing committee members handing out fliers as voters filed into the Old Whaling Church. Another group that has sprung up against a plan to add fluoride to town water held signs and gathered signatures for a petition.

Moderator Philip J. Norton called a quorum at 7:05 p.m., and the meeting began with swift approval of an affordable housing development that has been in the works for years.

Housing committee chairman Mark Hess said the 32-unit project will serve people from a variety of income levels who “want to live here and contribute to this community.” The article gives the selectmen the authority to put out a request for proposals for a developer for the project on nine acres of town-owned land off Meshacket Road. Describing up-to-date architectural design and energy efficiency, Mr. Hess said: “We hope that this will be an excellent model for other affordable housing projects around the Island.”

The article passed unanimously.

Voters also readily approved a one-year temporary ban on marijuana establishments.

Police chief Dave Rossi said zoning amendment will allow the town to pause while the state develops rules and regulations for commercial sale of recreational marijuana. The state Cannabis Control Commission is currently working to develop the rules. “I think it’s prudent to wait,” the chief said, also noting that the moratorium doesn’t affect medical dispensaries or future votes.

Bruce Nevin proposed an amendment to make it clear the moratorium would last until Dec. 31, 2018 or until the town enacts zoning regulations, whichever occurs first. The amendment was approved and the article passed easily.

But a companion article to amend town bylaws to prohibit public consumption of marijuana generated the most discussion of the evening. Many voters questioned whether the bylaw was overly broad and how it compared to regulation of cigarettes and alcohol.

Edgartown police Lieut. Chris Dolby said public marijuana consumption is becoming more common in town during the summer, including in public areas. “I don’t think that’s acceptable around kids in downtown public areas, recreational areas where people are trying to vacation and enjoy these smoke-free environments,” he said.

Tom Dunlop asked whether the language for the marijuana bylaw was the same as the bylaw regulating public consumption of alcohol.

Selectmen, town attorney Ron Rappaport and town administrator Pamela Dolby. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Katrina Nevin asked whether there are equivalent bylaws about smoking cigarettes in public. “I don’t want to be sitting next to someone smoking a cigarette,” she said. “Can we add the words cigarette to this? Cause I think it’s ridiculous.”

Selectman Arthur Smadbeck said the board of health could look into beefing up cigarette regulations, and that according to police alcohol regulations are more stringent than what was proposed for marijuana.

A proposal to amend the language to include tobacco was denied by the moderator, who said it strayed too far from the article.

Others expressed concern that the language was overly broad and could refer to driveways or town-owned housing. An amendment to clarify that the bylaw refers to open areas was approved.

A motion to indefinitely postpone the article was defeated 100-62. In the end the article passed, 114-19.

The rest of the meeting moved swiftly. Town employees will get pay raises retroactive to July 1 after voters unanimously approved a set of recommendations from a compensation and classification study. The raise will cost taxpayers about $218,000.

Voters also approved adding $6,000 in free cash to the park department expense account, spending $11,000 to replace three decks at the police station, and spending $14,000 to reimburse the reserve fund for money spent on a new server.

Town constable Scott Ellis said 195 voters turned out for the special meeting.

Just after 7:45 p.m. Mr. Norton called for a vote on the last article: $18,000 for unpaid bills.

“All those in favor of paying the unpaid bills please say aye,” Mr. Norton said, and the church filled with loud ayes. “Opposed,” he called out, met with silence.

“Thank you very much,” the longtime moderator said, and there was scattered applause as residents filed out into the chilly November night.