Two North Central, 15th Floor
Phoenix, Arizona 85004
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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. And, 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, retail and residential projects in Arizona and California. Stephen has been involved with NeighborWorks America for years, starting in Phoenix and now also in Los Angeles, 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, transfer stations 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


  • 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 2018, Stephen marked the following highlights:

  • Managed the interplay between litigation and entitlement efforts, including two separate multi-jurisdictional matters involving federally funded road projects managed by Counties being developed at the junction point of two local governments.
  • Represented long-term family owners and businesses in cases that resulted in friendly condemnation results, clearing the path for more favorable entitlements.
  • Managed a redevelopment project that triggered 18 separate legal actions to a successful resolution of the court disputes, such that the actual entitlement process could fully commence by the end of the year.
  • Provided ongoing entitlement support for various long-term Master Plan projects, including residential master planned communities and major industrial facilities.
  • Served a rapidly growing market for lending due diligence, for both initial project financing and for refinancing efforts, which typically requires a very short turnaround time.
  • He continues to work in a wide variety of jurisdictions across the Valley of the Sun, including Maricopa and Pinal Counties, the Cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Glendale, Buckeye, El Mirage and Litchfield Park, and the Towns of Gilbert and Queen Creek.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Urban Land Institute – Los Angeles Council, Advisory Board member and Program Committee Vice-Chair, 2013-2019
  • Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, Board President, 2016-2019
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County, Board Member and Member of its  Neighborhood Redevelopment Committee, 2015-2019
  • American Planning Association, Member
  • Arizona Planning Association, Member
  • California Planning Association, Member
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Supporter