We need your support! There is a public hearing regarding our re-zoning case on Tuesday, January 15th. Re-zoning of the property is vital to the success of the restoration and business of Montfort Hall. The Raleigh Planning Commission members will discuss the case and possibly make a vote to support or deny our request. You can help us by sending an email in support of the re-zoning to the Planning Commission members at, Planning.Commission@raleighnc.gov. They do read the emails so they can be very helpful. This is pivotal to our vision becoming a reality. There will be one more time in the coming months when we will ask for your help again. If it passes this phase it will then go before city council. We will share an update when we know those details.
Have questions about Montfort Hall? This page will be updated regularly to reflect the ongoing conversations with city council and the local community. If you do not see an answer to your question, have additional feedback or would like more details on something, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.
If you are interested in using the property for a photography shoot in its current pre-restored state, please reach out to us directly and tell us about your project. We will follow up with availability and pricing.
Update: (01/08/2019) As an output of the two community meetings on August 20th & November 1st, two Central CAC meetings, as well as feedback from the Planning Commission - our team crafted a draft of zoning conditions which are included in our re-zoning application with the city. We have gone in to detail on the most important items below. We truly want what is best for the Boylan Heights neighborhood and will work diligently to continue gather neighborhood support and input through this entire process. We truly appreciate all the feedback and love thus far!
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Our vision is for Montfort Hall to become a boutique inn with up to 10 rentable rooms that can host small gatherings and be a place that can be enjoyed by the community. Achieving this vision involves restoring the historic landmark and rezoning the property. For more on our goals & vision visit our About page.
Under the current R-10 zoning, the property can be a bed & breakfast but only with a maximum of 5 rooms and no events. We want to rezone to a zoning district that allows the use of a boutique inn (5+ rooms) and small gatherings. It will be a conditional use rezoning request so that we can add conditions and limit the allowable uses. Another way to think about it is in reverse: we essentially want to keep the R-10 zoning but allow a couple of other uses (i.e. operate as an inn, gathering space and neighborhood bar). The only way to do this is to pick a different zoning district and whittle it down to just a couple of acceptable uses. We have identified the CX district as the most appropriate. (It does still allow single family house use in CX.)
Montfort Hall is unique - it is not like any other house or property in the neighborhood. It was the first house of the neighborhood, built by William Montfort Boylan himself. It is the only structure in the neighborhood identified as a Raleigh Historic Landmark and National Historic Landmark. The property is much larger than any other lot used for residential, and it is located on the edge of the neighborhood directly across the street from industrial and commercial uses. These are just a few reasons why we believe a rezoning of this property cannot serve as a precedent for the rezoning of other residential property in the neighborhood. Also, the conditions and limitations we anticipate adding as part of the rezoning will distinguish it from other commercial uses in the area. We don’t want to see additional homes turn commercial, but we believe that this property is uniquely situated to accommodate uses that will allow us to restore the structure and have it serve as an asset to the community.
The conditions of the rezoning would act as the law on the property, which would govern any use and development of the property irrespective of who owns the property or who runs the business. Also, the property will remain within the local historic overlay district and designated a local historic landmark, which requires a Certificate of Appropriateness for most alterations to the property and structure.
What could future owners do with it based on the new zoning?
Intimate gatherings at the Inn will be our secondary focus following overnight accommodations. They would potentially include intimate wedding ceremonies & receptions, family reunions, corporate retreats and other small gatherings that would generally center around people also staying at the Inn. Additional small gatherings could include private dinners, showers, workshops and meetings. Occasionally, we would like the ability to host gatherings including art walk, neighborhood festivals, or similar local community events. As well as host our own programming throughout the year. That may include but is not limited to community dinners, charity events, yoga classes, afternoon tea, seasonal gatherings open to the public and more.
We understand parking on the property will be limited, and we are keeping that top of mind as we plan for the types of events and services offered at the Inn. We are working on a site plan that, pending RHDC approval, should be able to handle all required parking on site and if needed with a shared parking agreement offsite. Our intent is to avoid any on-street parking in Boylan Heights. At the present time, the proposed plan estimate 21 spots fitting onsite in the back of the property off the current driveway on Mountford Street. Considerations for preserving as much of the acre lot as possible are of the highest priority. All materials will be approved by the National Park Services and Preservation NC. We’ve also spoken with some of the other nearby business owners about potential shared parking agreements.
We have also added to the conditions that “Prior to holding the first event with a total number of guests in excess of 100 guests, the owner shall secure rights to use at least 20 off-site parking spaces.”
The property is within the Boylan Heights historic overlay district, is a Raleigh historic landmark, is in the Boylan Heights national register district, is a national historic landmark, and is subject to protective covenants in favor of Preservation NC. Preservation NC will oversee all exterior and interior work. We are also required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Raleigh Historic Development Commission for all exterior work on the structure and property. We will pursue historic tax credits for the entire rehabilitation which requires compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s standards. The NC State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service will oversee and approve all exterior and interior work. Needless to say, there will be a lot of eyes on this project! We have already had several preliminary meetings with these organizations and everyone is very supportive of the vision and plans thus far.
Our intention is not to disrupt the peace of the neighborhood. We know noise is a concern and we are very sensitive to the surroundings of the property as we plan for the types of events that will take place. Montfort Hall site is not eligible for an outdoor amplified entertainment permit because the site is not located within a hospitality district or within 300 feet of a thoroughfare. Amplified entertainment generated from inside the structure is still allowed with an administratively issued permit, although it cannot be directed outdoors.
All outdoor activities will end by 10:00 pm Sunday-Thursday and by 11:00 pm Friday-Saturday. And during any calendar year, there will not be more than 4 events with more than 150 guests or attendees.
A restaurant or bar is not our primary intended use for the property. Most events will be catered. However, in conjunction with our vision of community, we want a way for the public (not just guests of the inn or an event) to enjoy the space. We plan to provide limited beverage services primarily for guests, but also the local neighborhood during certain hours. (Picture a small speakeasy bar in the basement!) The CX district allows a full service ‘restaurant/bar’ use, but we have outlined conditions that limit the scope of any restaurant/bar type use so that it is compatible with the neighborhood setting. (Restrictions on days/hours, size of the space and people we can accommodate at one time.)
We have discussed adding a storage shed in the rear of the property, but nothing more at this time.
We have prepared preliminary plans for an addition on the second floor above the existing extended first floor. This addition would accommodate four guest rooms, and will require approval and oversight from the various organizations noted in the Renovations section.
Additions to the house
We are not yet at the point of making any decisions on landscaping, but we intend to only accentuate the grounds and make it a more welcoming, beautiful space. (We love trees!)
We are currently doing repair work on the house. mainly the roof. The rezoning process will likely be completed by early Spring 2019, and this will include multiple meetings at the Central CAC, Planning Commission and City Council. After rezoning, the next step is administrative site review, which may take four to six months. Renovations will likely start during the summer of 2019, with an estimated 6 - 12 month timeline. The Inn could be open for business as early as January 2020 or as late as Summer 2020.
If you don’t see an answer to your question please contact us. We would be more than happy to address it!
*FAQ Page updated 01/08/2019*