Exeter Township supervisors unanimously granted conditional preliminary approval of plans to build a Dunkin' Donuts at the intersection of Perkiomen Avenue and Shelbourne Road.The approval is contingent upon the issuance of a highway occupancy permit from the state Department of Transportation.

Plans to develop the 29,000-square-foot lot have been under discussion since 2005, when the property was being considered for a bank, a doughnut store or a coffee shop.

Now, a 2,300-square-foot Dunkin Donuts with a drive-thru is proposed for the property, which is adjacent to a Wendy 's Restaurant. Traffic would enter and exit the property from existing access roads off of Route 422 and Shelbourne Road.

According to Exeter Township Solicitor John Hoffert, they don 't have to be.

Residents Tom Howell and Ken Smith criticized the board for discontinuing the practice of transcribing resident comments into the minutes verbatim, as was done in the past.

"Public comment is also for the public," said Smith, arguing that people unable to attend a meeting aren 't able to read exactly what other residents said if comments are edited or paraphrased.

Smith also questioned the ability of the township secretary to interpret the intent of a person 's words and capture it in abbreviated notes. He asked for the board to reconsider recording the exact words used.

Hoffert assured the board that while the public might not like it, it 's clear under case law that the township secretary is only required to enter the context of what was said into the minutes.

"His minutes are in accordance with the law," he said.

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