Tuscaloosa, AL – The Tuscaloosa City Council has banned grilling on apartment balconies. They passed the ordinance Thursday, and it will take effect January first, 2004. Council members say they made their decision based on fire reports from the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service. The service says grills caused 17 apartment fires during a three-year period. Council President Jerry Plott was the only city council member to vote against the ordinance and says he disputes those numbers. He says he found not all 17 of the reports involved actual fires at apartments. The Tuscaloosa City Council is defending the decision, saying it is not specifically aimed at University of Alabama students. The council also recently limited operating hours for local bars and banned inside furniture, such as couches, from outside porches.