The city of Charlottetown is cracking down on illegal signs blocking sidewalks in the downtown core.

Counc. Rob Lantz, head of the city's planning committee estimates there are 78 sandwich board style signs illegally blocking the sidewalks. 

Lantz said businesses need a permit to put up a sign, and once they have a permit, the signs are only allowed on the grass in front of a business.

He said most of the illegal signs were found blocking sidewalks, placed on street corners. 

Lantz said the businesses have been warned to move their signs.

"We'll give them a short window of opportunity but I think it may just come to going around and gathering them up," Lantz told CBC News. "If they're on public property and they're not in compliance with the bylaw then we feel we can just remove them."

The signs are not simply an aesthetic concern. Lantz said they also pose a problem for people with disabilities who must navigate around them.

"I have had complaints from disability groups, concerned citizens, downtown business associations," he said, "I was on Victoria Row on the weekend myself, and I saw a woman in a wheelchair having difficulty trying to get up and down the sidewalk." 

Lantz said businesses will have a week or two before the illegal signs are removed by the city.

Most are in the Victoria Row area, and along Queen Street. 

Lantz said only two signs are in compliance with the city's bylaw.