After more than 30 years working for cities across Southern California, the head of Long Beach’s Development Services Department is stepping down.

Oscar Orci—who has served as the director of the department for the past two years after serving as its deputy director for the previous four—announced his retirement today. His last day with the city is Aug. 12.

During his time as director, Orci led the development of an updated Housing Element and oversaw the completion of several notable housing projects, including Shoreline Gateway, which is now the city’s tallest building.

“We are grateful for Oscar’s unwavering leadership over the last several years—both as director and deputy director—who continued leading our Department of Development Services with dedication throughout the pandemic and ensuring City planning, permitting and affordable housing services continued despite the unprecedented challenges,” City Manager Tom Modica said in a statement. “I wish him all the best as he embarks on his well-deserved journey into retirement.”

Orci, meanwhile, thanked city officials for the opportunity to lead the department.

“Although I have not been with the Department too long,” he said, “I believe I was able to leave things a little better than when I arrived.”

Christopher Koontz, who currently serves as Development Services’ deputy director, will serve as the acting director while the city conducts a nationwide search for a replacement.

Christian May-Suzuki is a reporter at the Long Beach Business Journal.