We finally met with the fellow from Saanich Parks today and he turned out to be a really nice guy. He tells me he was off with a cold at the beginning of the week so wasn't able to respond to telephone messages. I felt kind of bad for a few minutes, thinking that I was crabby about not hearing from him--until I remembered that I'd been trying for the two previous weeks to arrange a meeting.
Anyway, he was pleasant and helpful--so I was able to adjust to the bad news that we will not be allowed to plant large shrubs on the boulevard on the road side of our proposed new driveway. Because we are on a corner we cannot impede sight lines for drivers pulling out onto the road.
What this means is that there's not too much point in changing the driveway, since one of the main purposes was to put plantings there to screen our view of the road (seen here).
So we're now looking at a Plan B--which will be to design plantings on our own property to screen us from the road as much as possible.
The good news is that we won't have to spend between six and eight thousand dollars to redo the driveway. Harry's right when he says, "You can buy a lot of trees and shrubs for $8000."
At this point I'm just relieved to have the full information and to have made a decision. We are still going to look at native plants and small shrubs to put on the boulevard and with a bit of a budget boost for plants, we can look at some larger trees and shrubs to plant in the front yard. And best of all, now we can get started on the project.