Two North Central, 15th Floor
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
Fax: 602.256.4475
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Stephen W. Anderson



  • J.D., University of Chicago, 1989
  • B.A., with Honors, Haverford College, 1986
  • London School of Economics, 1984-1985
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Professional + Civic

As a veteran zoning and land use attorney, Stephen serves as an influential leader on a series of landmark planned unit development (PUD) and entitlement decisions, particularly within the City of Phoenix. He served as lead representative for the entitlement process for the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa, which was the state’s largest hotel at the time. Also, he represented Sunbelt Holdings in the annexation and entitlement of Vistancia, a 7,000-acre residential project that is the largest in the history of the City of Peoria.

His experience extends to due diligence and acquisitions related to utilities, transportation, and retail and residential projects. Stephen has been involved with NeighborWorks America for years, which conveniently dovetails with his zoning and land use expertise. His portfolio of successes includes entitlements for master-planned communities that measure into the thousands of acres, residential subdivisions, retail centers, landfills and transfer stations, cell phone towers and churches.    Stephen is well-versed in the land use legalities of solid waste facilities and Arizona’s burgeoning alternative energy industry, which has involved interaction with aviation and military officials at both the local and federal levels.

Stephen’s legal career has earned him recognition from Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell and Super Lawyers.

Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Arizona
  • State Bar of California

Speaking Engagements

  • “How To Use A Lawyer” (January 2020), Local First Arizona Good Business Summit


  • Legislative and Case Law Update 2009, State Bar of Arizona Land Use Update (with Carolyn Williams and Rob Lane) (2009)
  • I’ll See You in Court! Maybe Not: Ripeness As A Bar to Judicial Relief in Takings Claims, State Bar of Arizona Land Use Update (2005)
  • Open Space Offers Opportunity, Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent (2002)
  • The Estoppel Bogeyman, Administrative Law Newsletter of Arizona State Bar Administrative Law Section (2001)

Significant Representations

In 2020, Stephen marked the following highlights:

  • For the second year in a row, successfully represented the sole Major General Plan Amendment in a Valley municipality, this time in the City of Avondale
  • Secured approval for an extremely rare and technical deannexation, moving developable land from one Valley city to another – in addition, he also worked on a successful development code technical appeal and a major street name change
  • Continued to advise clients on major industrial projects, including the expansion of a sand and gravel operation and a new solar farm, in both urban and rural locations
  • Joined Lindsay Schube to work on multiple entitlement matters for medical marijuana growers and sellers, including the processing of a Citywide Text Amendment to Phoenix Zoning Ordinance (and looking forward to doing more of the same for recreational sellers in 2021)
  • Stephen continued to work across a broad array of jurisdictions, including sites in unincorporated Maricopa and Yavapai Counties, as well as in the Cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Avondale, Peoria, El Mirage, Buckeye, and Prescott, and in the Town of Queen Creek

In addition, Stephen was honored to be elected to the Trellis Community Development Board, returning to service with that affordable housing organization more than a decade after serving as its Chair.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Arizona Forward, Board of Directors, 2019 – Present
  • Arizona Family Health Partnership, Board of Directors, 2022 – Present
  • American Planning Association, Member
  • Arizona Planning Association, Legislative Affairs Committee
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Supporter