Christopher Koontz has been named director of Long Beach Development Services. Courtesy of the city of Long Beach.

Longtime city employee Christopher Koontz has been named director of Long Beach Development Services, the city manager’s office announced Friday.

Koontz came to Long Beach in 2015 as an advanced planning officer. He was promoted to planning bureau manager in 2018 and deputy director in 2020, and has served as acting director of the Development Services Department since August of this year.

“I look forward to continuing the important work coming out to the Department of Development Services especially at this time of great community need, change and opportunity,” Koontz said in a statement.

In his new role, Koontz will oversee planning, permitting, code enforcement and housing services, leading a staff of 210 with an annual budget of $91 million.

Koontz, a Long Beach resident, brings nearly 17 years of experience in development services and city planning to his new role. He holds a Master of Planning degree and a Bachelors of Science in policy, planning and development from the University of Southern California.

“In addition to his impressive portfolio in planning and development services for the public sector, Mr. Koontz also demonstrates leadership qualities and compassion for public service to best serve our diverse community,” City Manager Tom Modica said in a statement.

In Friday’s announcement, the city praised Koontz for his ability to “implement successful programs and initiatives related to planning, housing, transportation and economic development.” The announcement also stated Koontz has worked to align operations across the various bureaus to better address housing and quality of life needs in the city, among other things.

Koontz will officially assume the role of director Monday.

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Business Journal.