Garrett Stephenson


How I represent clients at Schwabe

I help clients navigate all facets of land use law and ‎obtain entitlements and permit approvals for a wide ‎variety of development projects in urban and ‎rural settings. As a former urban planner, I have a ‎valuable perspective on local government decision ‎making and a practical understanding of project ‎management and delivery. Drawing upon my skills and ‎experience, I provide sound counsel to clients ‎considering any aspect of a development project.‎

My experience includes single- and multi-family residential ‎projects, affordable housing, assisted living, office and retail, ‎industrial, energy facilities, and natural resource projects. Using a ‎practical and client-centered approach, I am skilled in all phases ‎of land use matters, including planning and executing a permitting ‎strategy, representing clients before local decision-makers, ‎working with neighbors and other stakeholders, and negotiating ‎public improvements and private property takings. I can also ‎defend those results, having successfully briefed and argued ‎cases before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals and Oregon ‎Court of Appeals.‎

My natural resource and energy practice focuses on project planning, risk reduction, and permitting. I have ‎substantial experience in electrical transmission and other multi-jurisdictional development projects, ‎including experience with the State Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) Site Certificate process and ‎associated state regulatory requirements. I also have considerable recent experience in land use ‎permitting of a large and complex mineral development project.‎


“We have used Schwabe for about ten years, first in a bond refinancing, and then in other matters. I’ve always found Schwabe attorneys to be knowledgeable and very helpful in solving my problems. Kudos especially to Garrett Stephenson and Joel Parker. They were both extremely helpful to me.”

-Parkview Christian Retirement Center

Chambers & Partners USA, client highlights

Garrett provides practical advice on how to address challenges.”

“He is an excellent communicator.”


  • Assisted with permitting a number of electrical transmission projects throughout Oregon. Such work included regulatory due diligence analysis, obtaining and defending land use permits, and assistance with energy facility cite certificate applications before the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council.
  • Successfully obtained local government approvals for a major regional renewable diesel production plant and associated improvements.
  • Obtained local government approvals for single-family subdivisions in Washington County, the City of Sandy, City of North Plains, City of Beaverton, City of Scappoose, City of Woodburn, City of Salem and the City of Wilsonville.
  • Successfully defended multiple appeals of single-family subdivisions before the Oregon Land Use Board of appeals, concerning Oregon’s housing needs statutes.
  • Provide comprehensive regulatory due diligence and project feasibility analysis for timber, energy, and real estate development projects.
  • Obtained entitlements for a non-profit assisted living and associated multi-family development project in Portland.
  • Provided land use and energy law due diligence for wind and solar farm transactions.
  • Assisted trust in a major conservation deal to preserve nearly 2,000 acres of mixed timber/rangeland in Northeast Oregon.
  • Obtained settlements with local governments on behalf of a number of individual landowners in disputes concerning code compliance and required public improvements.


  • Willamette University, Bachelor of Arts degree, Cultural Anthropology, magna cum laude (2006)
  • Lewis & Clark, Law School, Juris Doctor degree, cum laude (2013)


  • Oregon State Courts


  • Home Building Association of Metropolitan Portland, Member, Chairperson of Government Affairs Committee (2021-2023)


  • Ranked “Up and Coming” for Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use Lawyers in Oregon, Chambers USA (2023-2024)
  • Bar People, Oregon State Bar Bulletin (July 2020)

Community Activities

  • Proud Ground, Board Member (2020-present)
  • Lewis and Clark Small Business Legal Center, Volunteer
  • City Club of Portland, Research Board Member (2015–2017)

Outside Interests

Garrett enjoys hiking, skiing, and cycling all over Oregon.

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