Phase one of a major expansion project at Island Grown Farms won the unanimous approval of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission Thursday night, amid praise from commissioners.

“Sometimes projects are so well thought out and well planned and devote so much time and energy not just to what their goals are, but what the community’s goals are, that you’re just really, really happy when you get to the point where you approve it,” commission chairman Joan Malkin said after the vote. “And this is one of those projects.”

A new 3,200-square foot education center and new housing for farm employees are the centerpiece of the project on the 40-acre nonprofit farm hub situated off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. Designed by South Mountain Co. of West Tisbury, the project has been under review by the commission as a development of regional impact (DRI). The new buildings will be all-electric and include rooftop solar panels, making them net zero energy producers. New activities on the farm, whose broad-based food equity mission is continually expanding, will include large-scale composting, year-round greenhouse activity and a half-acre community garden.

During MVC review, an archaeological survey identified five sensitive Native American cultural sites; IGI has developed a plan to avoid four of the sites and will be required to mitigate one which will be disturbed during construction. Because the project also exceeds the nitrogen loading limit by roughly seven kilograms per year, IGI has committed to installing two nitrogen-removing septic systems elsewhere in the Lagoon Pond watershed. A nitrogen-removimng septic system will also be installed on the farm as part of the expansion.

Commissioners debated some of the details around the septic plan Thursday during discussion about conditions for the project, but as they went through their check list, weighing the benefits and detriments of the project, there was little dissent and in the end the vote to approve was unanimous.

In the roll call vote, commissioners Jay Grossman, Jeff Agnoli, Trip Barnes, Fred Hancock, Kathy Newman, Ben Robinson, Doug Sederholm, Brian Smith, Ernie Thomas and Joan Malkin voted in favor of the project.

After the commission approves its written decision, the project will return to the town level for review by the Tisbury board of health.

South Mountain architect Angie Francis, who attended the meeting, thanked the commission.

“We appreciate all of your time and consideration on this project because it really has been a dream, so we’re glad to get such strong community support for it,” she said.

In other business earlier in the meeting Thursday, commissioners agreed to not review a change in the location of a flagpole in front of the newly-built Oak Bluffs town hall.

The flapole went up in a different location from the plan approved by the commission when it reviewed the town hall project as a DRI. In a letter to the commission Ned Collier, the lead architect for the project, took responsibility for the mistake and said it was the result of a breakdown in communication.

After lengthy debate, commissioners decided to allow the change without further review.

I can’t get deranged about this,” Mr. Sederholm said.