Thomas Abbate - Attorney at Law long island zoning
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about tom abbate

Tom Abbate has more than 23 years of specialized legal experience in the areas of land use, zoning and planning.  With more than a decade of experience serving as the attorney for various Town and Village Boards before which he regularly appears, he is uniquely qualified to see his client’s projects from the municipality’s perspective, enabling him to anticipate and solve potential legal issues before they become problems which could delay the goals of his clients.

A graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and St. John’s University School of Law, Tom began his career as an Assistant Town Attorney for both the Towns of Huntington and Smithtown.  He was then selected to serve as counsel to various municipal boards on Long Island including both the Zoning and Planning Boards of the Village of Northport and Special Litigation Counsel to the Town of Oyster Bay.  For 10 years, he served as the attorney for the Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals, counseling the Board in its determination of each and every application brought before it.   Tom also represented the Board in contested litigation, defending the Town before trial and appellate courts.

For the past twenty years, Tom has also devoted himself to his private practice, centrally located in Woodbury, New York, where he concentrates in the areas of zoning, planning, land use, municipal law, leasing, real estate transactions and litigation. He continues to appear weekly for public hearings before zoning, planning, town and village boards throughout Long Island. 

Martindale-Hubbell – which ranks lawyers across the nation based upon the evaluations and commentaries of fellow attorneys – has bestowed upon Tom the highest possible rating – AV – as a result of his “preeminent” legal ability and highest of ethics.

            With this background, Tom is a sought-after guest lecturer at advanced and in-depth zoning/land use seminars and symposiums presented by the National Business Institute, the Suffolk County Bar Association and Touro Law School.  His lectures are frequently attended by judges, planning commissioners, law school professors, zoning board members and fellow land use attorneys, all of whom he assists in navigating the intricacies of the multi-faceted local, regional and state laws governing the rapidly-evolving fields of zoning and planning. [See Lectures].

While Tom is particularly suited for handling the more complex problems facing commercial property owners and developers relating to expansion, subdivision and other desired uses for which governmental approvals are required (and where the administrative maze is particularly formidable), a significant part of his practice is also devoted to representing his clients in the purchase and sale of their homes, in legalizing existing non-conforming structures on their property and in their disputes with neighboring landowners.

He has extensive experience handling lawsuits against municipal boards (known as Article 78 proceedings) and related contested litigation.  He regularly appears before the District and Supreme Courts in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the Appellate Division and our State’s highest Court, the New York State Court of Appeals.

In addition to homeowners, his clients include major national and international corporations, developers and retailers, lending institutions, municipal and religious organizations, home builders, contractors and homeowners’ associations.  Among his clients are Starbucks, Walgreens, Madison National Bank, Scotto Brothers Enterprises, Bank of Smithtown, Sbarro and many others.  [For a sampling of projects, seePortfolio].


Jericho Water District

St. Edwards Parish Council (website)

Suffolk County
Bar Association