A proposal by the historic Harbor View Hotel to continue its long-term, $55 million renovation project and expand its spa is seeing considerable pushback from North Water street neighbors, who have called for additional public scrutiny by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

Recent modifications to the project that include a major expansion to the hotel spa were set to come before the commission for a hearing Thursday, but have since been delayed at the request of the applicant, according to the commission’s website. The hearing is now set for Jan. 21.

A grande dame of Edgartown’s vibrant hospitality industry, the exclusive 117-room Harbor View hotel and resort has a long, 130-year history on the otherwise quiet, residential corner of at the intersection of North Water street and Starbuck’s Neck, overlooking the Edgartown lighthouse. The hotel and its cottages, as well as the Bettini restaurant and pool bar, have undergone extensive renovations in the past two years.

A group of neighbors have registered growing concerns about the changes in public meetings and letters to town boards, among other things challenging the hotel’s liquor license with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission and taking the hotel and town to court over the pool bar, which remains the subject of ongoing litigation.

The most recent proposed modifications set to come before the commission include a plan to tear down the Bradley Cottage on the western side of the property, increase the square footage from 7,080 to 9,650 and add a 4,600-square-foot spa. A renovation of the Pease Cottage on the north section of the property would add one room. The Harbor View has also already completed renovations on other buildings that differ slightly from previous plans submitted to the commission.

In an 11-page letter to the commission, neighbors and their attorneys are raising a red flag over the changes, requesting a full public hearing review of what they say are dramatic modifications to a plan approved in 2018. The commission’s land use planning subcommittee voted in late October to recommend a full public hearing.

The commission has already received 37 letters about the project, the majority of them from neighbors and residents who say it is an unnecessary expansion of a commercial development in a residential zone.

In response, the hotel has attempted to quell the concerns, hosting Zoom sessions with more than 50 neighbors and residents, according to new general manager Scott Little. The hotel also plans to announce a historic preservation program that would be funded through a separate room fee and focus on community landmarks, like Memorial Wharf, Mr. Little said.

Mr. Little, who took over as general manager in November after previously working at the Kelley House, told the Gazette by phone that the hotel was focused on working with the community throughout the renovation process. He said many recent changes, including a reduction in window air conditioning units and decreased trash pickup, have come at the request of neighbors.

“We have already recognized the need to mend some fences, so to speak,” Mr. Little said.

Bob Forrester, who lives in a house adjacent to the hotel at 128 North Water street, said the neighbors had long had a working relationship with the hotel. But Mr. Forrester expressed deep concern that the recent series of incremental changes to the hotel were not part of the plans presented in 2018.

“If you look at any one piece of it, it is not too worrisome,” he told the Gazette by phone. “But if you look at the gestalt, if you step back and look at the whole fabric, this is a fundamental change in the character of that area.”

Although the request before the commission is for modifications to a 2018 plan, the hotel renovation plans actually date back more than a decade. In 2008, the MVC approved a sweeping, two-phase restoration that would have increased the hotel’s overall building footprint from about 90,000 to 110,000 square feet.

That project, which was financed by Lehman Brothers, hit snags when the investment firm went bankrupt shortly after the approval.

A decade later, the hotel came under new ownership when Bernard Chiu, founder and CEO of Boston-based Upland Capital, purchased the hotel for $30 million. Upland quickly sought to restart the investments, receiving approval from the commission in the summer of 2018 for an extensively modified project that would reduce overall square footage by 8,000 square feet but add 29 more rooms than in the initial 2008 plan.

While portions of the project have already been completed, including the renovations to the hotel’s main building and Mayhew Cottage that add seven rooms, the commission still needs to decide whether the other changes represent a large enough divergence from the 2018 approval to merit a new review.

In letters, neighbors contend the greatly expanded spa would be open to the public, rather than just hotel guests, and represents a significant expansion of the hotel’s commercial use. “The addition of a commercial spa at the hotel is yet another major project that would add to the commercialization of this historic, residential neighborhood,” one wrote.

Mr. Little said the spa would be marketed exclusively to hotel guests, although he conceded the facility could be used by members of the public.

“We’re not in the spa business, we’re in the hotel room business,” he said.

An LLC registered to Mr. Chiu also purchased a house across from the hotel at 119 North Water Street in 2017, according to land records. In letters, neighbors expressed concerns about the use of the property for weddings and jet ski rentals from the hotel’s dock.

Mr. Little said the building is a home that belongs to Mr. Chiu, and that any one staying on the grounds or using his private jet skis was there at his invitation.

The Harbor View isn’t the only Edgartown hotel renovation that has drawn the ire of neighbors in recent months. The Hob Knob inn, a boutique hotel and spa on Edgartown’s Upper Main street, has been before the commission for the better part of a year for a proposed expansion that would double its size. Neighbors have lambasted the project, also characterizing it as an unnecessary commercial expansion in a residential neighborhood.

With hotels struggling during the pandemic, Mr. Little said the changes at the Harbor View are needed adaptations in a challenging economic climate.

“Things have changed since the last 130 years at the Harbor View . . . it is a commercial enterprise in a residential neighborhood, and that use is grandfathered in,” Mr. Little said. “The spa, for example, that’s not an increase in commercialization. That is us becoming more and more relevant.”

Mr. Forrester had another view.

“We want to have a successful hotel,” he said. “But this goes really far beyond just a neighbor to neighbor thing. It is like somebody coming into the town and saying, we’ll paint the Whaling Church pink. It is a real shock to the character, I think. And I hope it can be resolved.”