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Steve helps private and public clients obtain and defend land use entitlements.

Steve assists Seattle’s Major Institutions (hospitals, universities and colleges) in obtaining master plan approvals as well as project-level permits. Steve also litigates land use, environmental, real estate and general matters in tribunals ranging from local hearing examiners to state administrative bodies to courts.

Community Activities

  • Bayview Manor Retirement Community
    • Case Development Committee, Member
    • Citizens’ Advisory Board, Member
  • Downtown Seattle Association, Urban Experience Committee
  • Parents for a Better Downtown Seattle, Steering Committee member
  • Seattle Parks District Citizen Oversight Committee member



  • Assisted owners of designated landmark structures sell their Landmark TDR, realizing gains created by one of the city’s strongest preservation incentive programs.
  • Assisted two private medical centers in Seattle, Washington navigate the multi-year Major Institution Master Plan process that culminates in the Seattle City Council action to approve growth, allowing each facility to construct more than one million new square feet of hospital space.
  • Advised a private university in Seattle, Washington in obtaining its major institution master plan approval, which establishes the zoning to implement a 20-year vision for campus development.  Assisted the university in securing project-level permits for its first project under the plan, a 280-bed student housing facility.
  • Advised the University of Washington regarding national, state and local landmarks regulation for construction of the new Computer Science and Engineering building, the Paul Allen Center.
  • Assisted CoU, LLC, a Seattle-area private real estate developer, in securing entitlements for Data1, an innovative office project that is home to Tableau Software. The building won the NAIOP award for “Best Office Development of the Year” in 2017.
  • Assisted a Seattle-area developer with entitlements for a 40-story project featuring two residential towers atop a podium with ground-level retail, parking and commercial space.  The project raised novel questions of how Seattle’s tower separation requirement works in practice.
  • Helped a local developer navigate the City of Seattle’s Master Use Permit process, including design review, to entitle a new mixed-use project in West Seattle that will deliver a 108-unit apartment complex over a local grocery store and below-grade parking.
  • Represented a Regional Transit Authority in litigation arising out of a local government’s attempt to delay project commencement.
  • Represented a nonprofit affordable housing developer in the City of Seattle’s Master Use Permit process, including design review, to entitle construction of more than 200 units of transit-oriented apartments in Seattle’s University District. 
  • Represented a port district in obtaining an $8 million jury verdict against a county for tortious interference, as well as successfully defending the award on appeal before the Court of Appeals.
  • Assisted a private university in obtaining federal, state and local entitlements, including a shoreline variance from the state Department of Ecology, to construct new sports facilities on campus.
  • Represented a private developer in obtaining and defending a Master Use Permit entitling a one-million-square-foot mixed-use development in downtown Seattle.  The project includes three levels of retail, a 12-story hotel, 750,000 square feet of office and more than 200 residential units.

News & Insights


  • Washington, 2007
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington, 2012
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, 2010


  • J.D., University of Washington School of Law, 2007
    • Washington Law Review, Managing Editor
    • Order of the Coif
  • B.S., University of Washington, Mechanical Engineering, 1997

Honors & Recognition

  • Chambers USA (Washington) Up and Coming, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, 2020
  • The Best Lawyers in America© Land Use and Zoning Law, 2018-present
  • Rising Star, Washington Super Lawyers list, 2013-2017
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