Heightened tensions between the Harbor View Hotel and its North Water street neighbors around use of a private dock boiled over into the Edgartown selectmen’s meeting on Monday.

The dock, located at 119 North Water street on a property controlled by hotel owner Bernard Chiu, was the subject of a March 11 letter from an attorney representing the neighbors sent to numerous town boards and officials. Among other things the letter claimed that Mr. Chiu had violated a permit that restricts the dock to private recreational uses by allowing guests to charter yachts and jet skis from the property.

The LLC controlled by Mr. Chiu that owns the property at 119 North Water street has a request for a commercial marine license pending before the town marine advisory committee. Neighbors have expressed concern over what they described as cumulative commercial use of the dock.

A 2018 order of conditions from the Edgartown conservation commission limits Mr. Chiu’s dock to private recreational uses.

The letter from the attorney for the neighbors further claimed that the hotel had used the 119 North Water street property as a hotel annex, with pictures of concierges picking up bags from guests who arrived at the dock.

“The hotel . . . is essentially using the dock at 119 North Water street as its own dock, which is an impermissible expansion of the hotel’s nonconforming footprint,” wrote Dylan Sanders, an attorney with Sugarman/Rogers. Mr. Sanders represents the group of neighbors locked in a longstanding legal dispute over the commercial expansion of the hotel, including a pool bar built before the summer of 2019.

An expansion of the hotel’s spa is currently under review by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. The commission has held one public hearing on the project, with the proceeding sechedued to continue on April 29.

On April 8, Kevin O’Flaherty, an attorney who represents the hotel, fired back a lengthy response to Mr. Sanders’s letter, disputing its claims. “Mr. Sanders’ letter is another chapter in ongoing and relentless campaign by a handful of individuals who seem intent on continuing to harass Mr. Chiu and the hotel with meritless claims,” he wrote in part. Among other things, Mr. O’Flaherty said the commercial charters in question had in fact used the town dock at Memorial Wharf, not the private dock at 119 North Water street.

The testy back and forth continued Monday — in writing and in person — when Mr. Sanders responded with a second letter, saying that neighbors were concerned with the hotel’s “creeping commercialization,” and that charters had in fact left from the dock. Mr. Sanders repeated those concerns in the selectmen’s meeting, raising questions about the hotel’s pending commercial marine license.

“Is this, in fact, a request to use the dock for commercial purposes, that are prohibited?” Mr. Sanders asked the selectmen.

Mr. O’Flaherty responded that the hotel had no desire to use the dock for commercial purposes, in the past, present or future, and said the hotel had not hired a yacht charter company for the summer of 2021.

“The long and short of is, there’s no commercial use of the dock ongoing, no commercial use of the dock in the past,” Mr. O’Flaherty said.

Town harbor master Charlie Blair confirmed that a commercial marine license was pending for the property and had been granted in the past, but that Mr. Chiu said he intended to use it to rent seasonal slips, rather than charters. But town conservation agent Jane Varkonda noted that it was difficult to distinguish between allowing seasonal renters to use the slips and the dock’s commercial use.

Looking to cool the heat, selectman Arthur Smadbeck requested that town officials come together to ensure that use of the dock remains within legally-allowable parameters.

“There’s enough question, that I would ask Jane Varkonda to talk with marine advisory and Mr. O’Flaherty, and make sure that all the rules and regulations are being adhered to, and that there is no commercial use of that dock,” Mr. Smadbeck said.

Mr. Smadbeck added that the conservation commission would not look kindly on the commercial use of the dock, and said the town would ensure that Mr. O’Flaherty’s statement regarding the non-commercial use of the dock remained true.

“I think that sort of takes the issue off the table,” Mr. Smadbeck said. “But we will certainly, as the town, keep our eye on that dock.”

Mr. O’Flaherty said he understood the selectmen’s wishes, but requested that Mr. Chiu’s dock be treated as every other private dock in the harbor. Mr. Sanders said he appreciated the board’s willingness to keep an eye on the property.

“That goes a long way toward resolving the issue,” he said.