The proposed Island-wide housing bank took another step forward when Chilmark became the fifth town to give it a thumbs up at its annual town meeting Monday night.

“The housing bank is really a good idea,” selectman Warren Doty said during the discussion. “There are lots of details that are very complicated, more complicated than I understand, and we can quibble over should it be this way or that way, but it’s a good idea.”

The 194 voters in attendance at the Chilmark Community Center overwhelmingly approved the housing bank article, along with all 30 articles on the warrant, including the town’s $12.5 million operating budget.

The town meeting was called to order shortly after 7 p.m. by moderator Janet Weidner

Town administrator Tim Carroll makes a point.

In addition to the housing bank article, voters approved an outline for an affordable housing project at Peaked Hill Pastures, money to refurbish the Menemsha comfort stations and numerous Island-wide regional spending items.

The housing bank article requires approval at four town meetings and four elections before it can move on to the state legislature. It has now been approved at five town meetings — West Tisbury, Tisbury, Edgartown and Oak Bluffs approved the initiative at their town meetings on April 12 — and at the ballot box in West Tisbury, Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. Chilmark voters head to the polls on Wednesday, with Tisbury holding its town election in May and Aquinnah holding its town meeting and election also in May.

Voters in Chilmark discussed the housing bank article in detail during an hour-long debate.

Candy daRosa, a real estate agent and member of the coalition advocating to create the housing bank, opened the discussion by outlining the need for affordable housing on the Island and asking the voters to sign on.

“It’s always been challenging to assist local families to buy homes, but now it’s pretty much impossible,” Ms. daRosa said. “This is a vote to present this bill to the legislature, this is not an approval vote.”

Laura Silber, housing bank coalition coordinator. — Ray Ewing

A handful of people objected to the article. Those who spoke against it raised concerns about over-development, zoning and people moving from off-Island to take advantage of housing bank projects.

“This is handing over our control to a newly created bureaucracy that’s going to be distanced from us and it’s going to make decisions that we’re not going to like,” Rick Shweder said. “If you love this community don’t give away the store for a need that we all recognize is there [but] that may not even be accomplished.”

In the end the article passed with a large majority.

The housing bank discussion dovetailed another hour-long discussion over an affordable housing project on town-owned land at Peaked Hill Pastures. In front of voters was a concept plan for 10 rental units and four owned units on roughly 16 acres. Resident Fred Khedouri proposed a sweeping amendment to change the plan to substitute the mix of rental and owned units to up to eight ownership lots.

“I think at some point you have to stop and say ‘does everything belong everywhere?’ Even go down-Island, go to Vineyard looks like a suburb in most of it,” Mr. Khedouri said. “This is a rural town...and its character is a delicate thing that needs to be preserved.”

Select board member Jim Malkin with feline voter. — Ray Ewing

The amendment was shut down resoundingly after multiple people stood to make the case for rental units. Aletheia Donahue, a Chilmark resident and doctor at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, said young doctors and nurses are not in the market to buy a house.

“I know two nurses that are moving off-Island because they can’t find houses,” Ms. Donahue said. “Young professionals like that aren’t coming shovel-ready to be able to build a house here. They need to have rentals for us to be able to sustain these kinds of employees.”

After four hours the town meeting came to a close and voters headed back out into the chilly Chilmark night.

On election day, polls are open from noon to 8 p.m. at the Chilmark Community Center.