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Phoenix, Arizona 85004
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Stephen W. Anderson

Member

Education

  • 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.

Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Arizona
  • State Bar of California

Publications

  • 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 2017, Mr. Anderson marked the following highlights across a significant breadth of jurisdictions:

    • Secured approval for a major expansion of a landfill in a suburb of Phoenix for the second year in a row, securing decades of continued operation.
    • Served as lead land use due diligence counsel for the acquisition of a 700,000 square foot, multi-anchor shopping center in suburban Los Angeles, involving a critical reimbursement agreement with the local government.
    • Served as lead land use counsel in a successful effort to defeat a referendum threat in a Pinal County community, working with litigators from two law firms and public relations consultants in a compressed timeframe.
    • Secured approval for a 2,000 acre solar farm in Maricopa County.
    • Managed a high profile dispute regarding the remodeling of a major office building in Central Phoenix, including permitting disputes at the municipal level, deed restriction disputes including two property associations, and litigation at both the state and federal levels.  Efficiently and effectively oversaw a team of Gammage & Burnham lawyers and outside consultants.
    • Continued more routine work on a number of land use matters across a breadth of jurisdictions, including: Secured rezoning for a multi-family proposal utilizing a brand new zoning category in the City of Phoenix; Served as land use co-counsel on an overhaul of an approved master planned community in the City of Glendale, Arizona; Secured design review approval for a self-storage facility in Gilbert; Oversaw implementation of a donation agreement involving the Dysart Unified School District in the City of Surprise; Assisted with a marijuana dispensary and a PUD amendment in the City of El Mirage; Worked on an agreement involving the first transfer of development rights under a hillside conservation ordinance in the Town of Cave Creek.
    • As the year ended, Mr. Anderson commenced another multi-discipline, multi-jurisdictional representation, representing an agricultural property facing incorporation, annexation and condemnation pressures from one county and two cities.

Professional & Community Involvement

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