Hampstead city council voted against approving a controversial proposed condo development on Monday night, but the decision was immediately vetoed by the city’s mayor.

At a special council meeting, Hampstead city councillors voted 3-2 against giving the proposed development on Cote-St-Luc road the green light. For several weeks residents have spoken up against the project, which would require the demolition of two existing apartment buildings. Tenants of those buildings said they have developed a tight-knit community that would be broken up should the project go through.

Some have pointed to Montreal’s increasingly expensive rental situation and noted that several of the people living in the apartment buildings are seniors or disabled.

Before the vote, held during a special council meeting, residents again urged city council to stop the development from happening.

Following the vote, Hampstead Mayor Bill Steinberg vetoed the decision, saying that one city councillor was unable to attend the meeting due to illness and that they should be present for such an important decision.

Resident Patrick Demers criticized Steinberg’s decision, saying the veto left him and others “in shock.”

“Generally, when there’s a quorum, the vote held by an assembly is valid,” he said. “Since when can the mayor object because someone is missing? The quorum was there so the vote should be valid.”

During a separate meeting, approval was given to demolishing two buildings on the development’s proposed site should the project go through.

The issue will be presented to council again at a meeting on Aug. 5.