About Ben

Established, market-defining land use and zoning counsel 

Ben Graff is an experienced Arizona land use and zoning attorney. One of the preeminent lawyers furthering creative downtown infill development, Ben has championed unique land-use cases, having vast experience zoning and entitling projects throughout Arizona, including:

  • Luxury multi-family
  • Senior living
  • Affordable housing
  • Single-family
  • Industrial
  • Office
  • Mixed-use developments

As an Arizona native with deep roots in state and local politics and experience influencing strategic decisions related to land use policy, Ben’s clients benefit from his careful attention to their particular legal and business needs and his connections with the development community, planning staff, neighborhood leaders, appointed officials and elected officials in towns, cities and counties throughout Arizona.

Ben has served on the Arizona Board of Regents and on the Central Arizona Water Conservation District board of directors.

Experience in Action

  • Representing clients on a wide variety of zoning and land use matters, including zoning due diligence in all 50 states, vertical and horizontal subdivisions, historic preservation and landmark designations, conditions and restrictions agreements, restrictive covenants, utility and right-of-way easements, entitlements and government incentives.
  • Obtaining governmental approvals for rezoning cases, special and conditional use permits, variances, abandonments, certificates of occupancy, site plan approvals, design approvals, legislative approvals and other administrative matters.
  • Advising on complex pre-development, development and construction agreements, including reciprocal easement agreements.
  • Representing clients who have received a notice of violation from a city or county regarding a land use or development standard violation.
  • Assisting clients with obtaining expedited building inspections, permits and certificates of occupancy.
  • Providing preliminary zoning review to guide acquisitions, determining the most efficient and economical location to acquire.

Successes

  • Authored one of the first planned unit development applications approved by the City of Phoenix.
  • On-going representation of one of the largest and fastest growing instant grocery/delivery companies, to confirm the zoning, permitted land uses and compatibility of over 1,000 locations nationwide prior to acquisition or leasing.
  • Represented a client in processing a rezoning case (RU-43/A-1 to a planned area development) in Glendale, Ariz., to allow the expansion of an existing memory care/respite center onto seven adjacent acres to develop a new assisted living facility with 112 additional units.
  • Obtained significant zoning and land use entitlements and approvals for a green energy supplier to authorize a photovoltaic solar and storage facility on approximately 4,785 acres of land in La Paz County, Ariz.
  • Successfully obtained approvals for development of retail, restaurant, Class A office, hotel and luxury multi-family uses where a landfill once stood.

Professional Recognitions

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2019-present: Land Use and Zoning Law, 2021-present: Real Estate Law)
  • Listed in Chambers USA®, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use, 2021-present
  • Namesake for the Benjamin W. Graff Award for Public Service at The University of Arizona

Professional & Civic Activities

  • Elected Official: Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board, 2016
  • Regent Emeritus, Arizona Board of Regents, 2004
  • Valley Partnership (Board of Directors, 2020; Served as VP Legislative Committee Chair for 5 Years)
  • LAI (Lambda Alpha International), a Land & Economics Society
  • Arizona Forward
  • Valley Leadership Class 31
  • Flinn/Brown Foundation Leadership Academy Inaugural Class No. 1
  • Maricopa County Bar Association

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