Tensions ran high Tuesday night as the St. George Planning Board yet again delayed the decision of whether to allow Linda Bean to build a Wyeth Reading Room in the village of Port Clyde.

What was scheduled to be the second part of a public hearing and a site plan review functioned more like a courtroom scene — both sets of attorneys paced, holding up maps and citing evidence against the other, pleading with Chairperson Anne Cox as though she were a judge.

The board eventually opted to delay a decision until Sept. 26 and hire a traffic engineer in the meantime to gather data on Horse Point Road, where the reading room is proposed to be built.

Bean, heir to the L.L.Bean family fortune and granddaughter of retail store founder Leon Leonwood Bean, attended the meeting but remained silent.

Her application to build a 1.5-story reading center at the intersection of Horse Point Road and Raspberry Lane dedicated to the Wyeth family has rankled residents since the winter, when a group of neighbors first signed a petition opposing the project and began attending Planning Board meetings in droves to speak against it.

The reading room would showcase the multigenerational artist family’s history through pictures, related books, magazines and other miscellaneous items, specifically highlighting their relationship and influence in Port Clyde, according to the application filed with the town of St. George.

Horse Point Road branches from the town’s main thoroughfare, Port Clyde Road. The proposed site of the reading room is about two-tenths of a mile — a five-minute walk — from the Monhegan ferry launch, the Port Clyde General Store and the Wyeth art gallery on the second floor, the latter two also owned by Bean.

Paul Gibbons, Bean’s Camden-based attorney for the project, told members of the Planning Board at the Aug. 8 meeting that Bean’s reading room will be different from her other ventures in that they will attract markedly fewer people.

In fact, Gibbons downplayed the argument that it was even an attraction at all.

“It’s a place very few people are likely to go,” Gibbons said. “It’s not going to be some beacon to attract tourists. Only a special kind of people will go to that reading room.”

Residents of Horse Point Road, a narrow dead-end shoulderless road with a tight curve near the entrance of where the Wyeth Reading Room would be, are primarily concerned with traffic congestion, speeding and how the reading center would transform the otherwise quiet residential area.

In past meetings and on Tuesday, residents and their hired lawyers told anecdotes about speeding cars, nearly hitting walkers and bikers or nearly being hit themselves.

“It is very reasonable to suggest that the traffic there, going around that corner, will cause unsafe conditions in your town,” Rockland-based attorney Patrick Mellor told the board on behalf of the residents.

Bean’s team rebutted those accounts, saying there have only been two traffic crashes on the road in the last 10 years. Opponents argued that those statistics don’t compute when the proposal would change the use of the area and attract considerably more cars.

As a solution, Gibbons said Bean would pay for the town hire a third-party traffic engineer.

“When the board hires a traffic engineer, that engineer is contractually bound to you,” Gibbons said. “That way, you’ll be able to know there’s someone on your side.”

“I call upon you to call upon your common sense,” Gibbons pleaded to board members.

“You hire (an engineer), we’ll pay for it,” he said.

But logistics aside, resident Ann Snow said, the town needs to also seriously consider how the project will affect the character of the town.

“It bothers me that all this talk about technicality (is) not addressing the spirit of the village,” Snow, who has lived on Marshall Point Road for 81 years, said.

“It’s just such a wonderful place, and we don’t need commercialization,” she said.

Bean has done a lot of wonderful things for the town, Snow said, “but I think this is a big mistake, and no one would’ve thought that more than the Wyeth family, who really appreciated their privacy.”