Growing Pains Return to New England As Economy Rebounds, So Do Old Conflicts The "permit cap" in Eliot, Maine — a law establishing a limit of 48 residential permits a year, 12 each quarter — has stood since the mid-1970s. And though the town, like most along the southern Maine coast, has grown considerably during that period — from around 2,000 in the early 1970s to about 6,000 now — the full 48 permits were used only five times. This year, however, is one of those years. Increased building activity in Eliot has filled the docket and created a waiting list for permits. As a result, builders, landowners, and real estate agents are getting antsy. One of those