A controversial home renovation on South Water street went before the Edgartown conservation commission Wednesday, prompting concerns about construction in the property’s wetlands and a proposed “exercise spa.”

Plans to update the house at 81 South Water street, owned by real estate mogul and Katama seasonal resident David Malm, first riled neighbors when Mr. Malm approached the historic district commission this spring. Many residents worried that the original plans would block the view of Edgartown harbor.

By the time the renovation received approval this summer, the plans had been significantly scaled back so the view could be preserved. As part of the approval, architect Patrick Ahearn withdrew plans for a pool and fencing.

The renovation plan submitted to the conservation commission last month included a proposed exercise spa in the same location of the former pool.

When asked the difference between a pool and an exercise spa, Mr. Ahearn responded that state regulations defined a spa as being 6 feet or less in depth. The international swimming pool codes upon which the Massachusetts code is based define an exercise spa as having enough water to allow a 99th percentile man to exercise in place.

Doug Hoehn, who was presenting the project to the commission, said the pool would be about 6.5 feet deep.

Mr. Ahearn argued that the spa, which does not include security fencing that comes standard with a pool, can bypass historic district commission review because it cannot be seen from a public way. Moreover, Mr. Ahearn opted to fence in the spa with privet hedges, citing the fact that landscaping does not fall under the historic district commission’s purview.

In letters and public comment, residents pushed back on the idea that the pool would not be visible from public ways.

“This is clearly in the public view,” resident John Brittain countered. “Shouldn’t this determination be done by a town official, not by the applicant?”

Board members and residents also took issue with the plans’ proposed finished basement, which would sit in wetlands that residents say have flooded more frequently in recent years. Proposed construction stops at the FEMA 100-year flood zone line and extends to 3 feet above the groundwater plane.

Resident Lucy Dahl said she used to walk her dogs on the property before it came under its current owners.

“The wet comes all the way up to the hill in the wintertime,” she said. “The people making this request don’t know that because they haven’t made the walk in winter.”

Conservation agent Jane Varkonda said she would need a plan on how to mitigate the lawn at the beachfront side of the property, and reminded the applicant that tents and other temporary structures are prohibited in the wetland. The property has hosted several events on its premises this past summer, including a wedding with a tent on the back lawn, Mr. Brittain said.

The plans have also garnered interest from the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) in previous meetings. Ms. Varkonda cautioned that should the tribe find burial remains on the property, the basement may need to be adjusted to a partial basement. She also requested complete foundation plans given that the application asks to lift the historic 1912 house.

“Those are things you need to think about,” she said.

Although the current plans preserve the property’s public harbor view, some residents have raised concerns that the application has referred to the view corridor as a buildable lot in itself, opening up the possibility that the view could be blocked by new construction. Ms. Varkonda asked Mr. Ahearn if he or his client have considered dedicating the view easement to the town, as its neighbor the Mayhew Parsonage has.

“Nothing is on the table at this point,” Mr. Ahearn said.

“It should be on the table,” commission chairman Peter Vincent replied.

The commission took no vote on the application this week and will continue to consider the project on Oct. 11.