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North Las Vegas pig farm to sell land, move out of the valley

R.C. Farms’ owner Bob Combs and his pigs will be moving out of their North Las Vegas-area farm.

After more than 40 years of diverting leftovers from Strip buffets away from landfills and into the mouths of his hungry hogs, the farmer is putting his 153 acres on the market.

The Combs family is expected to continue its operation on land near the county’s regional landfill at Apex, North Las Vegas city officials said. North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee made the announcement Monday at a press conference about 5 miles south of the farm.

Potential buyers can bid on the option to purchase the farm in 36 months for $30,770,000. Bidding on the option starts at $1.5 million; the winning bid will be selected May 6.

Former North Las Vegas Mayor Michael Montandon, a broker with Providence Commercial LLC., said Combs reached out to him in December about helping him sell the land. The arrangement is ideal for the family because it gives it time to move out while giving the prospective owner time to find a new use for the property, Montandon said.

The farm is part of unincorporated Clark County, so its future owner will have to work with the city of North Las Vegas to annex the property and have it rezoned.

Gregory Blackburn, director of the city’s community development and compliance department, said the city would likely try to rezone the area to be compatible with the neighboring area, which is mostly residential with some commercial zoning.

Lee said the move would increase property values and link two important parts of his city. In a statement before Monday’s announcement, the mayor noted that Fifth Street, which crosses through the farm property, is a “critical transit corridor” between the city’s downtown and the Villages at Tule Springs, a planned $3.3 billion residential development.

Per the agreement, Combs will have three years to move his pigs once the option on the property sells.

The Combs family did not participate in Monday’s announcement and could not be reached for comment.

The farm has drawn complaints over the years as the city grew in around the once-isolated operation and homeowners turned their noses up at the smell.

Jorge Jacquez, 54, who lives directly across from the pigs, said he doesn’t oppose the farm but acknowledged that sometimes the smell “is a bit much.”

Jacquez, who moved to the neighborhood from Union City, Calif., said he was surprised to find a farm here but enjoys the open space in front of his home. He added that he draws looks from people when he tells them where he lives.

“People tell me, ‘You live by that pig farm? How do you stand it?’” Jacquez said.

His wife, Tamara, said it might be a good thing if the farm is sold, because farm animals have gotten loose and been killed by motorists.

Donard Twardowski, a nearby resident and real estate agent who has sold houses in the area, said he thinks the farm leaving would be good for business but doesn’t want to see its owners forced into selling.

“As much as I want (Combs) to move, I also feel he has the right over anyone else to be there, because he was there first,” Twardowski said.

To some, the farm provides a valuable public service as a living, breathing recycling center for Sin City’s environmental excess.

Every week, the farm collects scraps from Las Vegas hotels, separates out the nonedible bits and feeds the rest to the pigs. The arrangement helps resort operators improve their environmental profile by reducing the waste they send to landfills.

And its not just the resorts that have benefited. After Las Vegas celebrated its centennial in 2005, about two-thirds of the city’s 131,000-pound birthday cake was left uneaten. The pigs at R.C. Farms were more than happy to take care of the leftovers.

Contact Alexander S. Corey at acorey@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0270. Find him on Twitter: @acoreynews

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