Steve’s land use and real estate practice has been instrumental in many residential, commercial, institutional, and mixed-use projects. Developers, construction firms, investors, and institutions rely on Steve’s depth of knowledge in obtaining all types of land use assistance, including plat approvals, site plan approvals, shoreline permits, and construction permits.
His unique ability to translate legal insights into practical solutions guides his clients through all stages of the entitlement process and, where necessary, litigates administrative and judicial appeals of land-use decisions.
Steve takes great pride in tracking breaking legal developments to ensure the success of his clients’ projects in an increasingly regulated environment. This knowledge allows him to effectively streamline the land use process, saving companies valuable time and resources to develop commercial, residential, institutional, and religious projects.
For over twenty years, Steve has successfully advised and assisted clients in developing town centers, office complexes, residential housing, affordable housing, schools, religious centers, and other mixed-use projects shaping the Puget Sound region.
- Assists clients in obtaining all types of land use approvals, including site plan and plat approvals, shoreline permits, and construction permits.
- For projects in the City of Seattle, assists clients in navigating projects through the Master Use Permit process and associated review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
- Extensive experience in helping clients efficiently obtain approvals from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for work in stream, wetlands, Puget Sound, or Lake Washington, including guidance on the special consultation requirements of the Endangered Species Act.
- Special expertise in assisting clients with critical areas compliance, including wetland, watercourse (steam), and steep slope regulations.
- Author, Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (Development Agreements), May 2018
- Author, Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (Critical Areas Regulations), May 2017
- Author, Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (Stormwater Regulations), May 2016
- Author, Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (LEED Development), May 2015
- Author, Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (Survey Discrepancies), May 2014
- Author, Ask a Legal Professional, Puget Sound Business Journal (Shoreline Regulations), May 2013
- Program Co-Chair and Moderator for the Shoreline Permitting CLE, sponsored by Law Seminars International, 2007
- Speaker, "State Environmental Policy Act," Navigating the Maze: A Checklist Approach to Land Use and Environmental Law, Washington State Bar Association, October 4, 2002 and October 7, 2004
- Speaker, "The Endangered Species Act: The Response of State Agencies," Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson, P.S., June 1, 2000
- Washington State Bar Association
Environmental and Land Use Section
- Seattle Waldorf School
Board of Trustees
- Repeatedly recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Land Use & Zoning Law, most recently for 2022.
- Recognized as a Rising Star by Washington Super Lawyers.
- Law Clerk to The Honorable Jerome Farris, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1995 - 1996.
- Attorney Fellow, California Appellate Project, 1994 - 1995.
- J.D., Yale Law School, 1994
Stephen J. Massey Public Interest Award (1993) for work with Haitian
Co-Director, Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, 1992 - 1993
- B.A., Stanford University, 1988