An appellate court has blocked from the ballot an initiative that seeks to overturn a 1997 ballot measure that approved partial public financing for a new San Francisco 49ers football stadium and amended the city's zoning ordinance to allow the stadium and an adjacent shopping mall. (See CP&DR Economic Development, July 1997.) Stadium opponents gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot an initiative that would overturn the 1997 measures. The 49ers sued and San Francisco Superior Court Judge Raymond Williamson prohibited the initiative — which alleged violations of the Election Code during the 1997 election — from going on the ballot because it contained false statements. Project opponents argued that Judge Williamson violated their First Amendment free speech rights. But in early October, the First District Court of Appeal said no. "We note we are speaking of outright falsehoods in an official document and not the typical hyperbole and opinionated comments common to political debate," the unanimous three-judge panel said. "All we do in this case is uphold a writ of mandate issued against a particulate petition which clearly violated the Elections Code because it contains undisputed untruths calculated to mislead and misinform a reasonable voter." The case is San Francisco 49ers v. Nishioka, No. A083687, 99 C.D.O.S. 8249.