Suburban Deja Vu
This is suburbia at its strangest. Located deep within the winding streets of a master planned Sunshine Coast housing estate, Earnest Lane is also strangely named. Going by the meaning of earnest (to show deep conviction or seriousness
) it's difficult to tell if the urban planners were trying to be a little ironic since it's hard to take this place seriously at all.
The short narrow street might wish to be taken seriously, but it's clear that the housing developers were catering to some very unique tastes in this neat-as-a-pin street where all the houses are a complete carbon copy of each other.
Firstly, a little bit of background info about the suburb where Earnest Lane is located. Officially known as Sippy Downs but most commonly called Chancellor Park, the sprawling suburban streets are relatively new, and since 2000 the area has continued to expand.
Home to the University of the Sunshine Coast and at the intersection of the Bruce Highway and Sunshine Coast Motorway, the area was a logical place to develop in part of the geographical centre of the Sunshine Coast. If you've been to Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast, you could possibly make some pretty astute comparisons between both suburbs.
Earnest Lane is located towards the north east corner of the Sippy Downs, but the suburb has continued to rapidly grow since 2000
For young families, students, and retirees, the area has allowed affordable housing, but with it a very suburban lifestyle. No house is older than 20 years here, and many have been built within the last 10. The result of this is a fairly homogenous suburban landscape, although not completely unattractive. The University undoubtedly adds a lot of interest to the suburb but you can forget beaches or natural beauty within walking distance - the suburb has been essentially built on swampland. Despite this the area has been beautified by a series of man made lakes, and well maintained winding paths and barbecue areas allow community enjoyment of the area.
Walking along Earnest Lane you may feel like you have lapsed into a state of deja vu, with each house design repeated and repeated again. At 21 residences, it's just as well it's not a particularly long street, as I can completely imagine residents absentmindedly pulling into the wrong driveway - especially at night!
You haven't lapsed into a state of deja vu, each home design on Earnest Lane is repeated over and over - albeit with different colour schemes
But apart from the fact each home design is exactly the same, the statement the homes make with their styling strongly contribute to this being one of the quirkiest streets I've seen.
The modest sized homes feature futuristic boxy right angles, offset by a convex arch along the roof. Each driveway runs down the length of each allotment and is framed by a rather flimsy two dimensional looking entrance facade. If one boxy facade wasn't enough, each property has a pedestrian pathway with walk-through facade, leading to the front door. The only difference between the homes lies in the bold colour schemes. With the bright purples, aqua blue and even magenta exterior cladding, I couldn't help but feel like these houses have a kind of Lego-like and almost spacey feel about them.
Art Deco meets Lego, meets spacey facades along Earnest Lane
It sure as hell wouldn't be my cup of tea to live in this suburban oddsville, but when it comes to the price there's no arguing that a four bedroom home on Earnest Lane is fairly good value. According to realestate.com.au, homes sold for $330,000 in 2013, which you can definitely not argue with when taking into account the block size ( deep blocks with wide frontage). Nonetheless, the value for money might reflect the fact that you live in a quirky home that's part of a very quirky street.
Also for those who don't mind the idea of living in the exact same home as your neighbours but prefer a more conventional home style, connecting earnest Lane is Windemere Way. Windermere Way offers a more 'white picket fence Pleasantville' feel with neat low set brick style dwellings which have a decidedly country cottage feel.
Next time you are visiting Chancellor Park, or the Sunshine Coast for that matter, make a detour down one of the region's strangest and quirkiest streets. It's become a place where I'm sure all the residents have now become accustomed to people doing drive-bys and taking snaps out of the passenger window.
Make a detour down this strange lane next time you are on the Sunshine Coast. Google Earth only does the street so much justice than seeing it for yourself!