The 'Mow to Own' Program is designed for City residents who wish to acquire a vacant lot owned by LRA.
LRA has owned and maintained many small parcels in its inventory for a number of years, and as time has passed it has become clear that these parcels are unlikely to be developed to create new housing, industry or jobs. LRA was created to accomplish these goals, but also to return formerly tax-delinquent properties to the tax rolls. This program will aid in accomplishing that task.
The 'Mow to Own' Program is a 'sweat equity' program where residents may take immediate ownership of a vacant lot that is located next to an occupied residential property that they own, for a nominal fee. Participants must agree to continually maintain the lot, including regular mows and debris removal, for twenty-four months. The LRA Board of Commissioners must approve each transaction. Following approval by the Board of Commissioners, the successful applicant will receive a deed to the property with a maintenance lien, allowing the property to be reacquired by LRA should the applicant fail to maintain the lot. After twenty-four months, if there are no findings of violation from the City's Forestry Division and no complaints, LRA will remove the maintenance lien and the owner will own the property.
Step 1: Identify An Eligible Lot
Eligible Lots are:
- Lot may not exceed 30 feet frontage
- Lots may not be contiguous to three or more LRA, LCRA, or PIEA owned parcels
- The lot must be the property of the LRA for a minimum of three years
Step 2: Applicant Qualifications
An applicant to qualify must:
- Applicants must have paid all real estate taxes on all properties that they own in the City of St. Louis, and have no outstanding violations on those properties
- Applicants must live in and/or own the occupied residential building adjacent to the lot for which they are applying
Step 3: Maintenance Requirements
During the 24 month period, the applicant must agree to:
- Keep property free and clear of debris and excess vegetation
- Comply with City ordinances, including keeping grass cut to no higher than six inches during the April through October mowing season
- Pay current real estate taxes assessed on the lot
To apply for the Mow To Own Program:
- Download the Mow To Own application or pick up an application in the LRA office at 1520 Market St., Suite 2000
- Fill out the application and return it to the LRA office along with the $25.00 processing fee.
- Submit the application by 12:00 noon on the following dates in order to be presented to the Commission for their consideration.
- May 5th for the May 25, 2016 meeting
- June 9th for the June 29, 2016 meeting
- July 7th for the July 27, 2016 meeting
- August 11th for the August 27, 2016 meeting
- September 8th for the September 28, 2016 meeting
- October 6th for the October 26, 2016 meeting
- November 22nd for the December 14, 2016 meeting
- $25.00 application processing fee, cashiers check or money order (non refundable).
- $100.00 administrative fee, which includes recording costs for the initial deed and the subsequent release of the maintenance item.
- There is no additional cost for the land itself
What to Expect
Each application to the Mow To Own program will be reviewed by staff to determine if the parcel meets the program's requirements.
Staff will provide a recommendation to the board of Commissioners regarding the application.
The application will be presented to the Commission at the next available meeting.
If the application is approved by the Board of Commissioners, the successful applicant will receive a deed to the property with a maintenance lien allowing the property to be reacquired by LRA should the applicant fail to maintain the lot.