Hampstead residents voted in a referendum Sunday overwhelmingly against a proposed 10-storey apartment complex project at 5781-5783 Côte St. Luc Road, where many people of modest incomes live.
This means the project will not go ahead, and the tenants can stay where they are. The vote was 593 No to 267 Yes, and two ballots were spoiled, town clerk Pierre Tapp announced following an approximately 35-minute vote count.
No side supporters living at the building and on parallel Queen Mary Road were jubilant and overcome with emotion.
“We’re very thankful to the voters who came out, we appreciate it,” said No side spokesperson Leah Lasry. “We’re really grateful to everybody who worked so hard. We knew people would do the right thing.”
“After five months of really hard work, we showed that the people of Hampstead do speak, that this project was not a good idea for any resident of Hampstead, and it showed people all worked together to be able to do this,” said building tenant Elana Hersh.
Tenant Sharon Hyman was thrilled.
“We found it unconscionable that an affluent municipality like Hampstead would back a project that would see affordable housing demolished, in the middle of the worst housing crisis Montreal has seen in two decades,” saw tenant Sharon Hyman.
Mayor William Steinberg, who supported the Yes side, said the residents have spoken.
“The project is not going ahead, and what the developers will do next, I can’t tell you,” he added. “Obviously, some of the benefits we would have had, like a zero percent tax increase, are not going to happen.”
Jonathan Goldbloom, spokesman for the developers, said they were disappointed.
“The democratic process has spoken, and they will continue to operate the building for the benefit of the tenants.”