Clarkston’s Code of the West


  • Famous western writer Zane Grey first chronicled the Code of the West. The men and women who came to this country during the United States westward expansion were bound by an unwritten code of conduct. The values of integrity and self‐reliance guided their decisions, actions, and interactions.
  • In keeping with that same spirit, we offer this information to help citizens and future citizens of Clarkston make informed decisions as they contemplate living or moving to a rural area like Clarkston. Rural communities all over the country have adopted the “Code of the West” usually by resolution or in this instance for information purposes only.


  • Clarkston is a welcoming community.  We are proud of where we live and recognize growth will happen.  We only hope that those who join us for what they liked, when they visited and decided to locate here, will not attempt to make Clarkston like what they left. 
  • This document is intended to inform you that life in remote rural areas like Clarkston, is very different from life in the city.
  • Rural governments are not able to provide the same level of service in undeveloped, rural, and remote areas as cities do inside urban or larger developed areas. Clarkston does not have full time public works employees.  Roads, water, cemetery, and parks are part-time positions filled by folks with full-time jobs. Immediate response to certain conditions should not be an expectation. 
  • To that end, we are providing you with the following information to help you make an educated decision when choosing to purchase or develop rural land outside the boundaries of larger cities with developed infrastructure.


  • Clarkston has an outstanding volunteer fire department.  Volunteer is the key word; it is not staffed 24/7.  Clarkston has fully trained and certified first responders, however, emergency response time (for Sheriff, Fire, medical care, etc.), cannot be guaranteed. Under some extreme conditions you may find emergency response is extremely slow and costly.
  • It is wise to understand the easements that may be necessary, to serve your property or that you must maintain to serve others.
  • Extreme weather conditions and natural disasters can destroy roads. Spring runoff or hard rain can also wash out roads. If this condition occurs, you may report it to the Mayor or Town Council, but repairs may be delayed until funds are available.
  • If your road is unpaved, it is highly unlikely that Clarkston will pave it in the foreseeable future. Unpaved roads can require costly vehicle maintenance when you regularly travel on them. If your road is private, you will be required to clear snow and maintain it yourself.
  • School buses travel only on maintained county and town roads that have been designated as school bus routes by the school district.

Utility Service

  • Water, electrical, telephone and other services may have limited availability in certain areas of the Town or may not operate at urban standards.
  • Clarkston does have a culinary water system.  However, we do not have an unlimited supply of water and do place restrictions on use as needed.  
  • Cellular phones may not receive reception in many areas of the Town.
  • Sewer is not available. It will be necessary for you to qualify your property for use of a septic system. Check with the Bear River Health Department in Logan, Utah to determine if the property you are interested in buying is suitable for a septic system, prior to purchase.
  • The State of Utah controls permits for drilling new or replacement wells and Clarkston has ordinances controlling well development within Town boundaries. 

You may need to purchase an existing water right prior to getting a permit to drill or even use water from an existing well or you may be able to establish a new water right. 

Establishing, changing, and maintaining a water right is a complex, regulated task and you may need professional assistance. Contact the Utah State Division of Water Rights for more information. Make sure your needs can be met by the water rights you have secured.

  • Power outages do occur in rural areas sometimes with more frequency than urban areas. A loss of service can interrupt your supply of water from a well and can cause problems for your freezers, refrigerators, or other electron devices.
  • It may be necessary to cross property owned by others to extend services to your site in the most cost-efficient manner. It is important to make sure that you have the proper easements in place to allow access through other properties.
  • Trash removal may be interrupted due to severe weather.  It is the property owner’s responsibility to understand pick-up schedules and compliance to receptacle placement for pick-up.  Clarkston’s Town office is available to answer questions. 
  • Clarkston does have laws which prohibit and/or restrict the open burning of trash and yard debris. Contact the Town Hall or the County Fire Marshall to determine what type of permit is needed.

The Property

  • “Build the subdivision first, build the homes second” This motto is followed by Clarkston. Subdivision recording and full development infrastructure are to be in place before a building permit will be issued.
  • Clarkston requires Town issued building permits and inspections. Depending on the building location and use, other permits and approvals may also be required, such as conditional use, zone change, or subdivision approval.
  • Easements may require you to allow public access or construction of roads and other infrastructure through your property. Be sure to check this carefully. Easements may be recorded or enforced by prescription.
  • You may be provided with a plat of your property, but unless the land has been surveyed and pins placed by a licensed surveyor, you cannot assume that the plat is accurate.
  • Do not assume that fences accurately delineate property boundaries. Fences are not necessarily in the same location as the property lines.
  • The Town does not get involved in property disputes.
  • The beautiful view or open spaces adjacent to your home are not guaranteed in perpetuity. 
  • The development of lots or portions of lots may be affected by geological hazards such as frequent flooding, wetlands, streams, groundwater, poor soils, etc.

Mother Nature

  • Due to the vegetation and mountainous terrain, in some areas of Clarkston, risk of wild land fire is a threat that property owners need to be aware of. Some parcels are remote and located in areas that are not easily accessible by fire apparatus.
  • The topography of the land can tell you where the water will go in the case of precipitation. When property owners fill in ravines, the water will flow where it needs to and sometimes that might even be through your home.


  • Clarkston is historically an agricultural area. Farmers often work around the clock, especially during planting and harvest time. Hay is often swathed or baled at night. It is very possible that you will be disturbed by the smells or sounds of an agricultural business.
  • Animals and their manure can cause objectionable odors. Clarkston is not going to intervene in these processes unless a health hazard has been determined by the County Health Department.
  • Land preparation can cause dust especially during windy periods. If you choose to live near a farming area, be prepared for the good and bad that is associated with that area.


This list is by no means a complete description of what you can expect while living in Clarkston. There are other issues that you may encounter that we have overlooked. We encourage you to do as much research as possible before committing to a rural lifestyle.  We hope that after careful study you will choose to join us and accept the limitations but enjoy the beautiful community, we call home.