The City of Charlottetown says it seized 17 illegal sandwich boards from businesses without permits on Wednesday.

The city announced last week that it would crack down on illegal signs blocking sidewalks in the downtown core. Coun. Rob Lantz, head of the city's planning committee, said the signs can pose a problem for people with mobility issues.

On Wednesday, crews with the city's public works department picked up illegal signs that were in the way of pedestrians and brought them to the city garage on MacAleer Drive.

Business owners can retrieve their sandwich boards from the garage if they apply for a proper permit and pay $40.

Some downtown business owners who ran into the public works crews said they were allowed to keep their signs if they promised to get a permit. But they must keep the signs out of public view until the paperwork is complete.

Once an owner has a permit the sandwich boards are only allowed on the grass in front of a business.