MONTREAL - Members of a Mile End Hassidic synagogue are crying foul after their building expansion plan was narrowly shot down in a local referendum.

"We are law abiding citizens, paying our taxes, doing our services for the community, doing our part in life, bringing up children," said Gate David member Isaac Sternlicht. "They should leave us alone."

Voters rejected the expansion project for the Gate David synagogue at 5363 Hutchison in the Mile End section of the Plateau borough Sunday.

They cite such potential problems as increased noise and fewer parking spots.

But members of the synagogue tell CTV Montreal that they consider themselves victims of anti-Semitism.

The result of the referendum was 53.4 percent against, specifically 243 votes against, versus 212 in favour.

There were 1,201 eligible voters and 455 of them exercised their right to cast ballots, for a participation rate of 38.3 percent.

The issue has been the subject of litigation for several years.

In 2009 the Superior Court denied the group a renovation permit. The synagogue recently held an open house in hopes of currying support for the project.

With files from The Canadian Press