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Stephen W. Anderson
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Stephen W. Anderson

Member
sanderson@gblaw.com
(602) 256-4422

Assistant
Dawn McCombs
dmccombs@gblaw.com

AREAS OF PRACTICE

Education

  • J.D., University of Chicago, 1989
  • B.A. with honors, Haverford College, 1986
  • London School of Economics, 1984-1985

PROFILE

Stephen Anderson has been practicing law in Phoenix since graduating from the University of Chicago Law School in 1989. Mr. Anderson started his practice with the law firm of Meyer, Hendricks, Victor, Osborn & Maledon before joining Gammage & Burnham in 1991. In 1992, Mr. Anderson began practicing land use law with Grady Gammage, Jr., and has specialized in this area of the law since that time. He became a partner at Gammage & Burnham in 1998.

In 2013, Mr. Anderson relocated to Santa Monica, California, taking and passing the California Bar exam.

Mr. Anderson has worked on a wide variety of land use projects in his career, including some of the most significant development projects inArizona. Specific projects are detailed below.

  • Lead representative for the entitlement process for the Marriott Resort at Desert Ridge, which, at 950 rooms, was Arizona’s largest hotel at the time of entitlement.
  • Represented Sunbelt Holdings in the annexation and entitlement process, including the drafting and negotiation of the development agreement, for Vistancia, a 7,000 acre master planned community located in northwest Peoria. Vistancia is the largest project in the history of the City ofPeoria.
  • Lead representative on the Cahava Springs project, a proposed 1,000 acre residential subdivision with two nature preserves, each in excess of 80 acres, and over two miles of off-site infrastructure access. Cahava Springs is the largest project in the history of the Town of Cave Creek.
  • Primary private landowner representative in the City of Phoenix’s sharply contested two year overhaul of its billboard ordinance, the first overhaul of that ordinance in thirty years, ultimately approved in 2011 by the Council on a 5-4 vote.
  • Represented Waste Management of Arizona in its effort to triple the lifespan of the Butterfield Station Landfill from 40 years to 120 years. As part of this project, the footprint of the landfill was increased from 640 acres to 960 acres.
  • As Arizona’s real estate economy has evolved, Mr. Anderson has continued to broaden his experience and practice. In the burgeoning alternative energy field, Mr. Anderson represents solar energy providers, both photovoltaic and stored energy technologies, in their entitlement efforts. These efforts have included interaction not just with local governments but also with aviation officials at the local and federal level, including military officials.
Mr. Anderson has also created a regular practice of representing neighbors and neighborhood groups in entitlement matters. For example, Mr. Anderson has represented residents with concerns about school athletic facilities, large church complexes, and municipal dog parks within their neighborhoods. Mr. Anderson’s ability to represent communities, and to do so efficiently, has provided Mr. Anderson with unique insights into, and credibility with, both community representatives and municipal officials in the entitlement process.

Mr. Anderson is also certainly experienced in zoning more routine projects, such as subdivisions, neighborhood commercial projects, and office parks and buildings. In the course of such efforts, he has entitled well over one million square feet of office and retail space and thousands of homes and multi-family dwelling units. Clients have included Ryland Homes, KB Home, DR Horton and Richmond American on the residential side, and Vestar, John F. Long Properties, Evergreen and Kitchell on the commercial side. In addition, he has also entitled wireless telephone towers, mini-storage warehouses, private schools, a cemetery, an alcohol rehabilitation center, and a homeless shelter. For his work on the last project, Homeward Bound’s Thunderbirds Village, he received the Arizona Bar Foundation’s 1998 Pro Bono Affordable Housing Award.

In addition to entitlements and referenda challenges, Mr. Anderson has worked on development agreements, annexations, variances, use permits, site plan approval, design review approval, platting, building permit issuance, and certificate of occupancy issuance.

Finally, Mr. Anderson has worked on land use issues in a plethora of Arizona jurisdictions, including the Cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Peoria, Avondale, Apache Junction, Flagstaff, Surprise, Sedona, and El Mirage; the Towns of Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Buckeye, Guadalupe and Cave Creek; and Maricopa, Pinal, Yavapai, Coconino and Gila Counties. He has worked with the Arizona State Land Department on numerous projects.

Mr. Anderson was also an active leader in the community on both the local and statewide levels. He has Chaired the Boards of local affiliates of two national entities. He is a past Chair of Neighborhood Housing Services of Phoenix, Phoenix’s affiliate in the federal NeighborWorks program. Mr. Anderson has also long been active with Planned Parenthood of Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Specifically, Mr. Anderson is a past Chair of the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Planned Parenthood Arizona’s Political Action Committee. Mr. Anderson is also a past Chair of the Valley Forward Association and the Administrative Law Section of the State Bar.

In California, Mr. Anderson is currently a member of the Urban Land Institute of Los Angeles’s Program Committee.

Mr. Anderson was born and raised in Miami,Florida. He attended both Haverford College and the London School of Economics, obtaining his degree from Haverford in 1986. He graduated with a double major in Political Science and History, receiving Honors in the former. As already noted, Mr. Anderson then attended the University of Chicago Law School.

Court Admissions and Other Interests

  • State Bar of Arizona
  • State Bar of California