Shoreland Lease Sales


Shoreland Lots for Sale

The properties listed in the Lakeshore Lots Sale Booklet are former state tax forfeited leased parcels that are now available for purchase over-the-counter on a first come, first served basis upon payment of $1,000 non-refundable earnest money. The full balance of the purchase price plus all fees must be paid prior to payment to the leaseholder for improvements by certified check, cashier's check or money order. If an agreement with the leaseholder is reached that allows greater than 15 days from the date of sale for payment of improvements, full balance of the purchase price for the land, with fees, must be made to the County within 30 days of the date of sale.

St. Louis County makes no representations, warranties, nor guarantees with respect to access to state tax forfeited lands sold. Subject to all existing easements of record and rights-of-way.

Payment for improvements must be made within 15 days of the sale, either in cash or upon terms and conditions agreeable to the owner of the improvements (leasee). If payment for improvements is not made and there is no agreement between parcels within 15 days of the sale, St. Louis County will void the land sale and reoffer the property. 


On November 1, 2011 the St. Louis County Board authorized the Land and Minerals Department to appraise and offer for sale into private ownership all of the county's 278 shoreland leases ( County Board Resolution No. 559, November 1, 2011).  The current leaseholder has the first right to purchase the land at market value or to continue the annual lease (not to exceed the lifetime of the leaseholder).  If the current leaseholder does not wish to purchase or continue the lease the land will be sold at public auction, with the value of any improvements paid to the leaseholder.

The Minnesota Legislature has authorized this sale in the 2012 Minnesota Session Laws, Chapter 236, Sec. 28.

Minnesota Session Laws 2012, Chapter 236, Section 28 authorizes St. Louis County to sell, at its sole discretion, tax forfeited shoreland lots that are currently leased. The Land & Minerals Department is currently in the process of recording the land surveys as they are completed and approved by the County Surveyor. Sale of lease lots cannot occur until there is a recorded lot.  Additionally, the Department is imposing easements where applicable, which must also be recorded before sale of lot can occur.

The majority of shoreland leases have a Primary and Joint lessee who are "Joint Tenants." Both will be served with the notice of appraised value. Shoreland leases have been prioritized for survey, appraisal and sale by the Land Commissioner. Appraisals will be mailed to the leaseholders when the surveys have received final approval.

Additional Contacts

For zoning information, please contact the St. Louis County Planning and Community Development Department at 218-725-5000 (Duluth) or 218-749-7103 (Virginia). 

For septic information, please contact the St. Louis County Environmental Services Department at 218-725-5200 (Duluth) or 218-749-0625 (Virginia). 


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