Sawmill Meadows receives approval, begins construction


SOUTH FORK — The Town of South Fork Board of Trustees approved the new affordable workforce housing project, Sawmill Meadows, during a meeting on Sept. 26. According to project engineer and owner Matt Dorsett, construction for the project began this week.

For well over a year, Dorsett has worked with the Town of South Fork to create a plan to bring affordable workforce housing to the area and with the help of grant funding through the Department of Local Affairs and his background in engineering, Dorsett has taken his dream of helping the community he loves and brought it into reality.

Dorsett and his wife, Tammy, moved to the area full-time and began a non-profit that helps young adults through the transitional phase of their life after high school and before college. It was during this time that they realized just how bad the housing situation was in South Fork.

Through conversations with South Fork Trustee Rick Morgan, Dorsett began formulating a plan that would fit the housing needs in South Fork.

With the help of the South Fork Housing Task Force, the town, and Dorsett were awarded funding to begin preliminary work on the planning phase of the housing project through the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and have since worked to create a preliminary plat and engineering plan that was approved through both the South Fork Planning and Zoning Committee and the town board.

“As we got into this about 15 months ago, we found out very quickly through Andrew Atchley with DOLA that there were grant funds available that would be able to help with these projects. Andrew cautioned us from the beginning to make sure we knew what the need was from the local community before applying for the grants. The studies that had been done by the San Luis Valley Housing Coalition we identified that 20 to 30 units was needed,” Dorsett said.

The initial plan is to have 20 rental units on the property and 10 ownership homes. According to the project timeline provided to commissioners, the housing project will be submitting a finalized plat, engineering, structural and house plans with the goal to pre-sell units.

Beginning in September and going through November, the project will move into the construction of infrastructure phase. The hope is to have structures in place by summer of 2024.