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. 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 Summitt


  • 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 2019, Stephen marked the following highlights:

  • Processed and secured approval for the only Major General Plan Amendment processed by the Town of Queen Creek in 2019
  • Was the applicant for one of the three Major General Plan Amendments approved by the City of Casa Grande in 2019
  • Represented the landowner on entitlement issues related to the location of a major Microsoft facility in the City of El Mirage
  • Resumed work on infrastructure planning issues for the largest subdivision in the Town of Cave Creek; and
  • Illustrating his ongoing breadth of practice, worked on entitlement projects in the Cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, Avondale, Buckeye, and Prescott; the Towns of Prescott Valley and Sahuarita; and unincorporated Maricopa and Yavapai Counties

In addition, Stephen was honored to be elected to the Arizona Forward Board of Directors, marking his return to the leadership of that organization in their 50th Anniversary year.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Arizona Forward, Board of Directors, 2019-Present
  • Trellis Community Development Board, 2020-Present
  • American Planning Association, Member
  • Arizona Planning Association, Legislative Affairs Committee
  • Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Supporter