Mow To Own Program

Learn how owners of residential properties can acquire a vacant lot owned by LRA by maintaining it.


 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
  • Lot 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
  • Search LRA-Owned Properties

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 seven inches
  • Pay current real estate taxes assessed on the lot


 To apply for the Mow To Own Program:

  1. Download the Mow To Own application or pick up an application in the LRA office at 1520 Market St., Suite 2000
  2. Fill out the application and return it to the LRA office along with the $25.00 processing fee.
  3. Submit the application by 12:00 noon on the following dates in order to be presented to the Commission for their consideration.
  • February 2nd for the February 22, 2017 meeting
  • March 9th for the March 29, 2017 meeting
  • April 6th for the April 26, 2017 meeting
  • May 11th for the May 31, 2017 meeting
  • June 8th for the June 28, 2017 meeting
  • July 6th for the July 26, 2017 meeting
  • August 10th for the August 30, 2017 meeting
  • September 7th for the September 27, 2017 meeting
  • October 5th for the October 25, 2017 meeting
  • November 15th for the December 6, 2017 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

Note:  Participants may choose to acquire title insurance at their own cost.

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.

The LRA Commission meetings are held on the following dates at 8:30 am in the SLDC Board Room at 1520 Market St., Suite 2000.  (All dates and times are subject to change without notice.)

  • February 22, 2017
  • March 29, 2017
  • April 26, 2017
  • May 31, 2017
  • June 28, 2017
  • July 26, 2017
  • August 30, 2017
  • September 27, 2017
  • October 25, 2017
  • December 6, 2017


    Additional Information

     Search Properties Owned by the Land Reutilization Authority


    Land Reutilization Authority

    (314) 657-3721

    1520 Market St., Suite 2000
    St. Louis, Mo 63103

    8:30 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.

    Contact the Land Reutilization Authority

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