An agreeable group of voters filled the West Tisbury School gymnasium for their annual town meeting Tuesday evening, passing all but one of 51 articles on the warrant, including an overwhelming majority in favor of the Martha’s Vineyard Housing Bank and a residential building size bylaw.

The housing bank question dominated talk among the 372 registered voters, before, during and after the meeting. There was also lengthy discussion on the so-called big house bylaw.

Throughout, the meeting was marked by moments of levity and also shared respect for differing opinions in the room.

The large crowd of voters began filing into the school early on a beautiful spring evening. Some chose to wear masks, while others were maskless and excited to see each other’s faces again.

Moderator Dan Waters opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m. with the traditional poetry reading by outgoing West Tisbury poet laureate Spencer Thurlow.

Mr. Thurlow’s poem, On a Winter Walk, evoked “the many versions of me spooling from oak to oak,” a nod both to the personal and communal nature of the evening.

Mr. Waters then read the names of community members who had died in the past year, which was followed by a moment of silence. The cover of the annual town report this year is a photograph of Kent and Maureen Healy, who died a few month of each other this year.

A $22.1 million town operating budget won easy approval, after small debate about the legal fees line item, which was reduced from $30,000 to $20,000.

Then the meeting picked up speed, with the next six articles approved quickly.

Leah Smith of the West Tisbury planning board opened the discussion on the residential building size bylaw.

“The planning board was concerned with responding to proposals to building projects in town,” she said. “This simply provides the planning board with some tools.”

The proposal would amend town zoning bylaws to require a special permit for most new home construction that exceeds specific limits on square footage per acre. The bylaw is based on one Chilmark approved in 2013, and includes a two-year review period.

Samantha Look said the committee spent over two years working on the bylaw. “Where we started was whether we even needed this,” she said, adding that the committee included builders and architects.

“We held numerous public meetings to get feedback,” she said.

Local builder Gary Maynard spoke in favor of the measure.

“Many people here may be surprised to hear that I am in favor of this bylaw,” he said. “I build medium to big houses . . . My wife and I live in a 1,000-square-foot house and we often find it too big.”

He continued: “Jobs won’t be affected. Currently there is plenty of work to go around.”

Building contractor Tucker Hubbell, who told the crowd he washed ashore in 1972, also supported the article. “The house size bylaw is a tool for the planning board,” said Mr. Hubbell, who has served on town boards over the years.

Whit Griswold agreed, and said he had been on the Vineyard even longer than Mr. Hubbell.

“The fact that I’ve been around so long only means that I’m old,” Mr. Griswold said. “But I have seen many changes. And the community heart is still here because we have learned to adapt.” He continued: “And don’t we come here to be mostly outside as much as possible?” drawing cheers from the crowd.

Dan Larkosh had another view. “I can’t support it,” he said. “I don’t see large homes being an issue. To a certain degree we are telling other people how to live their lives.”

The big house bylaw passed 352-11.

Two articles required less money than originally requested. A Community Preservation fund request for $125,000 for the Island Housing Trust was postponed indefinitely after a letter from IHT president Philippe Jordi was read that said the organization’s fundraising efforts had been so robust they did not need the money.

Town highway superintendent Richard Olsen needs a new Kubota tractor, but wanted to reduce the request for $145,000 to $126,200.

When Mr. Waters asked why he needed less money, Mr. Olsen quipped: “Because I beat him up a bit.”

Select board member and police Lieut. Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter wondered aloud if Mr. Olsen would consider negotiating for the police department, bringing more laughter to the room.

Three articles aimed at reducing the town’s use of fossil fuels and emission of greenhouse gases were approved. Voters agreed with adopting regulations to require new and substantially remodeled or renovated buildings to use electricity instead of fossil fuels for heating, cooking and hot water, and to require the installation of an electric vehicle charger. But before the vote was taken, there was some debate on the wording of one part of the article, or rather one word: indicate. After Kate Warner, a member of the town climate advisory committee, took the audience through the article, building inspector Joe Tierney suggested the word be changed to install, when referring to a pathway for routing a conduit for charging an electric vehicle.

Ms. Warner agreed with the change initially until several voters stepped forward to say it would alter the meaning of the sentence. Town counsel Isabelle Lew was consulted, and she favored indicate. Debate continued until Geraldine Brooks stepped up to the microphone. Ms. Brooks reworked the sentence on the fly, making room for both words, much to everyone’s approval, attesting to the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s sure hand at sentence structure.

The article, along with its related articles, easily passed.

Voters approved numerous regional spending items, including $105,850 to fund the town share of the Tabernacle roof replacement project in Oak Bluffs, $75,000 to Harbor Homes of Martha’s Vineyard for the acquisition of future housing for homeless women, and $143,900 for shared construction funding for the new Island Autism project to build a campus off Lambert’s Cove Road.

Preliminary design work for the proposed Howes House reconstruction and renovation project received $523,000, and $600,000 in free cash was readily approved to reduce the tax levy in fiscal year 2023.

The lone article defeated was a request to increase building permit fees. Mr. Manter worried that an increase in the fees might result in people avoiding taking out permits.

“I think we should encourage the lowering of these fees,” he said.

As debate continued, an odor of skunk wafted through the open doors of the gym, which had been providing some much-needed cool air. There was no sign of the animal but the smell was potent. The increase in building permit fees failed.

The full room became less so as the night wore on, with empty chairs outnumbering bodies. With the smell of skunk lingering, Mr. Manter suggested that a group of 10 articles focusing on the distribution of Community Preservation funds, which he said had already been rigorously reviewed by the CPC committee, be voted on as a block. His motion passed, along with the remaining articles, and a final round of applause went up as voters filed back out into the April evening.