CUMBERLAND — Town voters overwhelmingly approved a ban today on commercial gravel operations in rural residential neighborhoods.

The vote was 862 to 507 in favor of the first citizen-initiated referendum to change an ordinance in the town’s history, according to Town Manager Bill Shane.

The proposed gravel pit ban followed recent controversy over excavation on the Copp property in West Cumberland.

Town officials halted the work last September because they said it was being done without proper permits. Randy Copp said he was building a road to a permitted house lot and reshaping the 48-acre property for future use.

The Town Council imposed a six-month moratorium on new gravel pit applications in November, then extended it through June to allow for the referendum.