A proposed land development project in Kirkland has come to an abrupt halt after residents rallied to trigger a town referendum.

Kirkland town council voted Monday night to withdraw a series of amending bylaws that would have allowed for a contentious high-density residential project to move forward.

Cherine Cheftechi, who presented a petition in December to oppose the project, says it is a victory.

"That was the end of it and we were delighted," said Sheftechi.

The proposed development would put 800 condominiums and townhouses at the old site at the former site of pharmaceutical company Merck Frosst.

Last week residents in the West Island suburb gathered twice as many signatures as needed to force a referendum on the project.