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Commonwealth v. Cicci

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

June 5, 2015

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
v.
Richard Cicci, Appellant

Argued April 13, 2015

Appealed from No. SA 259-2010. Common Pleas Court of the County of Washington. Gilman, J.

Stephen J. Taczak, Washington, for appellant.

Alan D. Benyak, Charleroi, for appellee Borough of Charleroi.

BEFORE: HONORABLE BERNARD L. McGINLEY, Judge, HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge, HONORABLE ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 469

ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, J.

Richard Cicci appeals from the December 10, 2013, order of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County (trial court) that found Cicci guilty of violating the Borough of Charleroi's (Borough) Ordinance No. 976 and concluded that Ordinance No. 976 does not violate The Borough Code (Code)[1] or the United States or Pennsylvania Constitutions. We affirm.

On April 29, 2002, the Borough enacted Ordinance No. 937, finding that an " [i]nadequate management of accelerated runoff of storm water . . . overtaxes the carrying capacity of streams and storm sewers . . . and threat[ens] public health and safety." (Ord. No. 937, § 1.1A.) That same day, the Borough adopted Resolution No. 2, authorizing the Borough to submit a loan application to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (Pennvest) to secure financing for a storm water collection system. Thereafter, the Borough received $7,900,000 from Pennvest to develop and install a storm water collection system.

To repay the Pennvest loan, the Borough enacted Ordinance No. 976, " imposing an assessment for municipal improvements to the Borough by the construction and installation of a new storm water collection system and for related improvements . . . ." (Ord. No. 976.) Pursuant to Ordinance No. 976, titled property owners in the Borough are assessed a monthly fee, which is due quarterly. (Ord. No. 976, § § 5, 7.)

Cicci and his wife own two rental properties in the Borough located at 411 Meadow Avenue and 614 Fifth Street. On April 28, 2010, and May 5, 2010, the Borough Code Enforcement Officer issued Cicci

Page 470

four citations for violating Ordinance No. 976 by failing to pay storm water assessments for both properties.[2] Cicci contested the citations before a district justice, who convicted Cicci of the four summary offenses. (R., Item 7.)

Cicci appealed to the trial court, arguing that Ordinance No. 976 violated the Code and the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. The trial court declined to hear Cicci's constitutional arguments. In an April 21, 2011, order, the trial court found Cicci guilty of the summary offense of delinquent stormwater assessment and ordered ...


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