Montara was largely developed in the 1960s as military housing for the nearby Forbes Air Force Base, and was known as Cullen Village. The base closed in the 1973. In 1979, Lario Enterprises bought the community from the city of Topeka, and began refurbishing the approximately 1,050 units for resale. After about 500 units were sold by 1989, the developer turned to renting out units, leaving an owner/renter split in the community (40/60 in 2003).
Montara is a quiet community about 3 miles south of Topeka and near Pauline and Forbes Field. There are three parks, one on the north end, and two on the south end. There are also three baseball diamonds and a soccer field located to the east and behind the Paris Community Center. It also consist of Forbes Golf course and a quarter midget track. There is also a community center (Shawnee County South Community Center) nearby.
In March 2013 Mars Chocolate North America opened a $250 million plant south of Topeka near the Montara neighborhood. The large industrial complex brought concerns about increased property values.
In 2014, several properties were damaged in arson fires.
The community is served by Auburn–Washburn USD 437 public school district. Pauline Central Primary & Pauline South Intermediate schools are located in Montara.
- "Montara, Kansas", Geographic Names Information System, United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior
- Alicia Henrikson (June 18, 2002). "Montara residents request office". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
- Rick Dean (June 21, 2003). "Campaign improves area". The Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
- "Forbes property put up for sale". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. March 18, 1977. Retrieved February 22, 2010.
- "Tkqma". Archived from the original on 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
- "Future of Montara valuations unclear".
- "Officials seek public help on Montara arsons".