You may have noticed the new landscaping at the former Monterey restaurant (1127 S. St. Mary’s St.), which closed in 2015. The location was rebranded this year as The Monty with the Ivy Hall and Gardens, the “container house” that sits behind and beside the former restaurant.  The L-shaped property for the container house (1119 S. St. Mary’s St.) backs up to houses on Cedar Street. 

Together, these two properties are zoned IDZ with uses permitted by C-2 and MF-25 zoning.  Amplified sound is permitted under C-2, which is a form of commercial zoning.  MF-25 allows multi-family housing with a maximum density of 14 units per acre.

The new use for these properties originally came to the attention of KWA’s Architectural Advisory Committee (AAC), which supported the request to convert the restaurant’s preexisting parking lot to a circular drive.  Later, the owner applied for a zoning change to allow a special use from C-3 zoning: “party house, reception hall, and meeting facilities” (in the City’s terminology).  

Before the new zoning was obtained, the event space opened with advertised accommodations for “30 to 300 guests” for “an intimate reception to a rowdy good-time.”  Several neighbors complained to the AAC and the KWA board about loud noise. 

In September, the AAC voted to support the new zoning only if outdoor amplification was not allowed, and the applicant could prove off-site valet parking for 150 cars.  The AAC’s recommendation was endorsed by the KWA board at its October meeting. 

The properties are owned by a limited liability company with ties to Stacy Hill, a King William resident.  Her zoning application was denied by the Zoning Commission on November 7, and she later withdrew the application for the zoning change and issued a letter of apology to the neighborhood.  According to a representative of the owner, the facility is available to rent for lunch in the gardens, a class field trip, or morning yoga by calling (210) 502-8161.

- Rose Kanusky