Public facilities and services are a crucial part of our day to day lives. Built and planned into the urban fabric of the world around us, they include water and sewer services, police and fire protection, health services, recreation facilities, energy and communication services, and services provided by the local government like building permitting or public works.

Each city with a population greater than 2,500 is required to create a public facilities plan that meets its current and long-range needs. If a county is home to an unincorporated community, the county too must develop and adopt a community public facility plan that regulates facilities and services. A city with an urban growth boundary (UGB) cannot include, as part of its public facilities plan, the intent to serve areas beyond the UGB, except in very specific and limited circumstances.

Within an urban growth boundary, public facilities should be in greater supply in areas planned for higher densities, and available at appropriate levels of service throughout the city. Outside an urban growth boundary, public facilities should not, as a matter of practice, be provided. For example, public sewer service is only allowed outside of a UGB to alleviate an existing health hazard, and public water service is only allowed if it is not used as justification to increase existing levels of allowed rural development. Examples of this would be areas zoned for "rural residential" use. The city's public facilities plan should plan for provision of public services to “urbanizable” areas, lands that are within the city's UGB but don’t have public facilities available to them yet. Additionally, a city's public facilities plan should consider the location of any urban reserves that may be adjacent to the city's UGB.