Some Cote des Neiges merchants are crying foul over a plan that would force them to change their signage. 

Cote des Neiges City councillor Magda Popeanu has proposed new rules that would ban signs fixed on polls, a common sight on Cote des Neiges Blvd.

“It’s an area where people walk. You don’t need signs like on Taschereau boulevard,” Popeanu told CTV Montreal at a consultation meeting with merchants Wednesday evening. "I am elected in Cote des Neiges and am CCU (architecture committee) president. I have big ambitions to make Cote des Neiges a touristic area.”

She said that about two million visitors come to St. Joseph’s Oratory each year and she’d like them to spend more time and money in the neighbourhood. “I want them to sit, eat, to go to hotels and restaurants and to have something beautiful and of quality to enjoy.”

But many merchants aren’t keen on being forced to pay to replace their signage, which can cost in the ballpark of $15,000.

“We need to not lose sight that they’re the ones paying the bills for this,” said City Councillor Lionel Perez, who noted that many aren't even aware of the plan, as only about 24 of the 300 merchants involved attended the consultation meeting last night.

A representative from one optometrist on Cote des Neiges said that she thinks the operation's longstanding sign, which stands on a pole, is serving its purpose just fine. “This post is very important because if you go up Cotes des Neiges you probably see this post before you see my other sign,” said store manager Francine St. Jacques.

However fellow merchant Jerome Bugel of Jerome B. Hairdresser, whose signage is painted onto an awning, expressed firm support for the proposal. “I think what they’re proposing is very good. I find five years to remove signs is very long, why not two or three years, as the aim is to be ready for the 375th anniversary of Montreal in two years?”