BARSTOW • The City Council voted to repeal certain regulations related to the sale of spray paint and non-water soluble products on Monday night.

Local businesses are no longer required by Barstow Municipal Code to keep a log of the names of individual spray paint customers or make such products accessible only through employee assistance in stores.

Councilman Harpole said in an email that the move is the first step in a series of actions necessary to reduce prohibitive regulations that affect local businesses.

"This repeal has more to do with making certain local government is administering its regulations with a common-sense approach to protecting every member of our community, and that means its businesses too," Harpole said.

The City of Barstow established regulations in 1995 to govern the sale of spray paint, felt-tip markers and non-water soluble products in an effort to combat graffiti related problems.

The Council recently directed that City Staff review the applicability and effectiveness of the regulations. After review, City Staff concluded that the regulations could be repealed with no negative impact to city operations.

"We have means to identify people who create graffiti and we have investigative resources that we have always used, and we will continue to use those," Chief of Police Albert Ramirez said.

Ramirez said he didn't think the change would impact graffiti activity. He said graffiti-related incidents have been less frequent than they were 8 or 9 years ago.

According to the Agenda Summary, regulations still exist to stop graffiti-related problems, including prohibiting the sale of spray paint and felt tip markers to minors and penalties for those that engage in graffiti-related activities. The parent or guardian of a minor engaging in graffiti activity may also be held responsible for any City abatement costs per Barstow Municipal Code.