Stephen has extensive experience in zoning and land use, sustainability best practice, comprehensive planning. He evaluates development proposals for zoning conformance and entitlement potential, drafts justification documents and submits Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA), Zoning Commission applications on behalf of clients, and monitors and researches local government land use policies. Stephen also regularly provides qualified expert witness land use and planning testimony before the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA), Zoning Commission, and Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation.
Prior to joining Cozen O’Connor, Stephen served as director of planning services at a Washington, D.C.-based boutique real estate firm, and served for nearly 10 years as an urban planner within the District of Columbia government.
Earlier in his career, Stephen worked at the District of Columbia Office of Planning. As a development review specialist at the District Columbia Office of Planning, Stephen was responsible for reviewing zoning applications and presented agency recommendations at public meetings. While in this role, Stephen served as core team member of Zoning Regulations Review project, a multi-year effort to comprehensively revise and modernize the zoning regulations of the District. He produced zoning recommendation reports and zoning regulation text, particularly for mixed-use, transit-oriented development, and sustainability subject areas. This work was later adopted as “ZR16,” the new zoning regulations of the District, in effect since September 6, 2016.
Stephen also served as a zoning specialist and senior zoning specialist at the District of Columbia Office of Zoning (DCOZ) in support of their oversight and adjudication of zoning matters in the District of Columbia. While at the DCOZ, Stephen was responsible for communicating complex technical and regulatory information to a wide range of stakeholders, including applicants, BZA, Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and the public. In addition to carrying out his explanatory duties, he analyzed and managed hundreds of zoning applications per year, ensuring each complied with applicable procedures and requirements. He improved the BZA application processes for applicants, and clarified rights and responsibilities for stakeholders, resulting in more-timely and efficient hearings. In this role, he also adapted BZA zoning processes in the Interactive Zoning Information System to conform with ZR16.
Stephen is a member of the American Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and the U.S. Green Building Council.
Stephen earned both his Bachelor of Arts and master’s in city and regional planning from the Ohio State University.