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SAN FRANCISCO-A majority of voters here, albeit just barely, appear to be approving the more restrictive of two development-limiting ballot measures that sought to limit the rate at which commercial development is encroaching on the city’s close-in neighborhoods.

Proposition L, the more restrictive growth-control measure that made it onto the ballot by citizen petition, was passing by just a few thousand votes early this morning with 93% of precincts reporting. Pro-development interests spent $2.2 million trying to defeat the measure with direct-mail pamphlets and television commercials. They preferred Proposition K, the less-restrictive alternative proposed by Mayor Willie Brown, which was soundly defeated with a 66% no vote.

Recent years have seen rapid business growth, especially among the so-called “dot-com” firms in the South of Market and other nearby neighborhoods. The result has been increased office development, which has meant more people and increased demand for housing with fewer places to build it, pushing up rents and forcing out lower-income residents and nonprofits. Proposition K created temporary development moratoriums in some neighborhoods pending in-depth studies. Proposition L permanently bans new offices in parts of the Mission District, Potrero Hill and other rapidly changing areas.

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