Halifax Regional Council has voted to reject a controversial development proposal to build two 48-storey high-rises in downtown Halifax.

Council voted 9 to 6 to not send the Skye Halifax project to a public hearing.

Council faced a difficult decision Tuesday. Some like Coun. Barry Dalrymple argued the proposal should at least go on to a public hearing, but others argued the Skye project broke too many development regulations.

The two towers were more than twice as high as HRM by Design allows for that section of downtown Halifax. The properties also would have been seen from inside the Citadel fotress, breaking another planning rule. 

During Tuesday's debate Mayor Mike Savage stepped down from his position as chair to argue against the development even though he liked the look of it.

"The problem is if you approve a development, even a really neat development like this one, which I like in many parts of, but if you allow for something so out of sorts with HRM by Design it just bring back a lot of uncertainty. I think we have predictability for our business community with HRM by Design and I think it will result in all those things we want for the downtown," he said.

The developers attended the council meeting, but left right after the vote and wouldn't comment on the decision.