John C. Cappello

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John C. Cappello

Walden, New York

Mr. Cappello is a partner on the Land Use/Environmental and the Municipal Law Teams.

His primary areas of practice are land use and municipal law since 1988. Mr. Cappello has represented private developers in multi-phase and large-scale commercial, residential, educational and mixed-use land use applications. He has also served as attorney for planning boards and zoning boards of appeals throughout Orange and Ulster counties.

John is the lead partner in Jacobowitz and Gubits' "Green Team," which focuses on advising a wide array of clients (municipalities, developers, manufacturers and businesses both small and large) on the opportunities available in this emerging field of law.

Mr. Cappello has presented programs in the Hudson Valley focused on steps local governments can take to encourage "green development" and create "green jobs." John has also made a number of presentations on zoning and land use issues throughout the state, focusing on providing workforce housing, encouraging transportation orientated development, overcoming obstacles in the land use approval process, and the impacts of the Landmaster v. Town of Montgomery Appellate Court exclusionary zoning decision successfully litigated by Jacobowitz and Gubits on land use practice in New York State.

Active in several charitable and civic organizations, Mr. Cappello is President of Orange County's Regional Economic Community Action Program, Inc. (RECAP) and Trustee for the Josephine Louise Public Library. John also has served as vice-president of Mid-Hudson Habitat for Humanity. John also completed a marathon for the Leukemia Society Team.

John also serves on the Pattern for Progress Affordable Housing Committee.


Update on the Latest, Greatest Land Use Cases and Statutes, PACE Land Use Law Center's Eleventh Annual Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference, 2012

Addressing Workforce Housing, NYS Bar-Municipal & NYS Assoc. of Towns, 2004

Prospering in a Green Economy, Orange County Citizens Foundation, 2009

PACEing Ourselves Using the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program to Fund Energy Efficiency, 2010

Integrating Green Provisions into Comprehensive Plans and Zoning Laws in New York State. New York State Bar Association Environmental Law and Municipal Law Section Joint Fall Meeting: October 2009

Integrating Green Provisions into Comprehensive Plans and Zoning Laws in New York State, The Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes, Pace University School of Law. Changing Times-Changing Practices Effective Legal Strategies to Resolve New Environmental Disputes, November 2009

Best Local Planning Practices and Tool Available For Reducing Sprawl by Developing Walkable Communities around Transportation Hub, Climate Change and Land Use Conference, 2008

Addressing Affordable Housing-Cases & Practical Solutions, 2006

Pitfalls in Planning and Zoning Administration, Orange County Association of Towns, Villages & Cities, 2002

Representative Cases

Matter of Feldman v. Planning Bd. Of the Town of Rochester, 2012 NY Slip Op 07180 (Appellate 3rd Dept. 2012)
Landmaster I, LLC v. Town of Montgomery, 54 AD 3d 408 (Appellate 2nd Dept. 2008)
In the Matter of Owens Road Associates v. Town of Goshen, 50 AD 3d 908 (Appellate 2nd Dept. 2008)

Areas of Practice

  • Land Use Applications
  • Residential Subdivision
  • Large-Scale Commercial and Industrial Site Plan
  • Multi-Family Residential
  • Affordable Housing and Senior Citizens Projects
  • Sustainable Development
  • Transportation Oriented Development
  • SEQRA Compliance
  • Regulatory Compliance and Auditing
  • SPDES Permits - Sewer and Storm Water
  • Federal, State and Local Wetlands Permitting
  • Endangered Species Act Compliance
  • SHPO Review and Compliance
  • Municipal Law
  • General Municipal Law
  • Planning and Zoning
  • Representation of Planning Boards, Zoning Boards of Appeal and Comprehensive Plan Committees
  • Labor Relations
  • Real Estate Law

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1986
  • New York, 1987


  • Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. - 1985
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, New York
    • B.A. - 1981

Published Works

  • Court Strikes Blow for Affordable Housing, Municipal Lawyer, Spring, 2009

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New York State Municipal Bar Association
  • Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, The Fellows Program, Class of 2009-2010

Pro Bono Activities

  • Regional Economic Community Action Program, President, 2014 - Present
  • Regional Economic Community Action Program, 1st VP, 2011 - 2014
  • Regional Economic Community Action Program, Board of Directors, 2007 - Present
  • Josephine-Louise Public Library Board of Trustees, 2009 - Present
  • Patterns for Progress, Affordable Housing Committee
  • Orange County Citizens Foundation, Land Use Committee
  • Walden Rotary Club, Member
  • Sustainable Montgomery Committee, Walden, Maybrook, and Montgomery