Community Development



Mow-to-Own Program

Mow-to-Own Application


Lot Information:

Click thumbnails for larger views
Lot Location Width x Depth Status Parcel ID Zoning District
1-813 Grant St 813 Grant Street 43x120 Available 011048000 R-4
2-305 Hill St 305 Hill Street 75x180 Available 014905000 R-4
3-1603 Market St 1603 Market 50x140 Available 014252000 R-4
4-728 West Mary St 728 West Mary Street 110x241 Available 013278000 R-4
5-813 Ella St 813 Ella Street 50x140 Available 011617000 CBD
6-715 Bell St 715 Bell Street 50x140 Available 010102000 R-4
7-717 Bell St 717 Bell Street 50x140 Available 010101000 R-4
8-411 South 10th St 411 South 10th Street 44x155 Available 014550000 R-4


     The purpose of the City of Beatrice’s Mow-to-Own Program is to get vacant, underutilized residential lots throughout the City into the hands of owners who will put forth the effort to maintain them. The Program will make it possible for new owners to take ownership of these empty residential lots owned by the City for a fraction of their market value at no monetary cost to the new owner.


     Through the Mow-to-Own Program, interested parties can gain ownership of a piece of real property after proving that they will maintain it. Homeowners living adjacent to a vacant city-owned lot will have the opportunity to expand their current property or, alternatively, an individual or a developer looking for a lot to build on could acquire a vacant city-owned lot, so long as they maintain it and follow through with building on it.



     Anyone primarily residing in Gage or a surrounding county is able to use this program, so long as he/she


  • Does not owe delinquent real estate or personal property taxes; and
  • Has had no property maintenance, nuisance, building, and/or zoning code violations within the previous thirty-six (36) months; and
  • Has kept any/all accounts with the City of Beatrice Board of Public Works in good standing.

     The only requirement of the prospective owner is that he/she must maintain the lot and continue to meet the conditions listed above. Maintaining the lot shall include mowing and snow removal, as well as any necessary weed management or tree trimming.


     Priority shall be given to owners of property adjacent to the vacant lot. If more than one adjacent property owner is interested in acquiring a lot, then the lot may be split between the two adjacent property owners. In the event that no adjacent property owners are interested in a lot, it will then become available to other companies or individuals who are interested in building on the lot.


Program Details


     A person eligible to acquire a vacant lot through the Mow-to-Own Program will first need to complete a program application. Upon approval of the application, the lot will be assigned a value and a written agreement will be signed by the applicant outlining the process for earning credit towards the lot’s assigned value.



     The application for the Mow-to-Own Program shall require a proposal detailing the maintenance and/or improvements to be completed on the lot. It shall be accompanied by a Fifty Dollar ($50.00) nonrefundable application fee. Upon approval of the application, the program participant shall pay a Two Hundred Dollar ($200.00) nonrefundable administrative fee for the production and completion of all necessary paperwork by the City.


Calculating the Lots Assigned Value


     The written agreement between the program participant and the City will include the lot’s assigned value. The lot’s assigned value will be determined by the size of the lot, at a rate of Sixty Dollars ($60.00) per foot of lot frontage.


Earning Credit Towards the Lot’s Assigned Value


     A program participant not interested in building on a lot will be credited Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) towards the lot’s assigned value per rolling calendar year that they remain in compliance with the written agreement to maintain the lot. Program participants can also negotiate the credit value of other improvements to the lot (e.g. landscaping, tree removal or planting) during the application process. As soon as the program participant has been credited the full assigned value of the lot, ownership will be transferred to the program participant. Program participants are also free to make additional monetary payments towards the lot’s assigned value if he/she would like to take ownership quicker than they can obtain all necessary credits.


    A program participant interested in building on the lot will take ownership of the lot as soon as the written agreement is executed and the builder has obtained the necessary building permits for the structure they will be placing on the lot. The lot will initially remain subject to a lien by the City in the amount of the lot’s assigned value. Once the builder fulfills their obligations under the written agreement with the City and the structure built on the lot passes final inspection, the City’s lien will be released.




     If a program participant fails to maintain the lot they’ve acquired as outlined in the written agreement and receives a notice from the Community Development Department, they will be given an opportunity to remedy the situation. The participant will not earn credit towards the lot’s assigned value in the year for which they must be given notice to remedy a violation, but will be permitted to remain in the Mow-to-Own Program. If a program participant fails to maintain the lot a second time, he/she will be disqualified from the Mow-to-Own Program and will forfeit any credit earned towards the value of the lot. During the pendency of the legal proceedings for the City to retake ownership of the lot, it shall be maintained at the expense of the program participant. Each program participant’s written agreement will list all situations which will be considered a default.




    For program participants who do not own property adjacent to the Mow-to-Own lot, the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Beatrice prohibits building an accessory structure on the lot unless there is also a primary structure. The Zoning Ordinance prohibits anyone from using a residential lot for outdoor storage. Program participants will not be permitted to cover a Mow-to-Own lot with crushed rock, gravel, or other material or to use the lot as a parking area. Additional land use restrictions may apply under the Zoning Ordinance. Applicants may contact the Community Development Department for a comprehensive list.




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