City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
Long Beach, CA – Today, City Manager Tom Modica appointed Christopher Koontz as Director of the Development Services Department for the City of Long Beach. Mr. Koontz brings to the role nearly 17 years of experience in development services and city planning, most recently serving as Deputy Director for Development Services since 2020 and Acting Director since August 2022. As Director, Mr. Koontz will oversee planning, permitting, code enforcement and housing services for the City and will lead a staff of approximately 210 and an annual budget of approximately $91 million.
“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,” said City Manager Tom Modica. “I look forward to his leadership and continued great work as Director.”
Over the course of his career, Mr. Koontz has demonstrated proven abilities to implement successful programs and initiatives related to planning, housing, transportation and economic development. He holds extensive experience building teams and bridges across departments and outside agency partners. As a leader in the Development Services Department, Mr. Koontz has worked to align operations across department bureaus to address housing and quality of life goals, has brought departments together to successfully receive grant funding for housing and transportation projects, has developed staff training and career advancement programs, and has motivated diverse employee teams around excellence in customer service. He has also led the implementation of department efficiencies to bring complex major projects to completion and has worked to successfully increase housing growth and investment, update plans and reform zoning codes, and refined approaches to code enforcement and a safe but flexible building permit process in Long Beach.
Mr. Koontz first joined the City in 2015 as an Advance Planning Officer and was promoted to Planning Bureau Manager in 2018 and Deputy Director in 2020. Prior to the City, he served as Chief of Airport Planning for Los Angeles World Airports, the governing body for Los Angeles International Airport and Van Nuys Airport, and with the City of Los Angeles in various planning roles.
“It is an honor to continue serving Long Beach as Director and have the opportunity to lead our department staff to continue providing exceptional planning, housing and development services for our community,” said Koontz. “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.”
Mr. Koontz holds a Master of Planning degree and Bachelors of Science in Policy, Planning and Development, both from the University of Southern California. He is a resident of Long Beach.
He will begin his role as Director on Nov. 7, 2022.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health and Human Services; Parks, Recreation and Marine; Development Services; Public Works and more. The City also has a highly respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, 12 libraries, five golf courses, 169 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths and a Bike Share program.
About Long Beach Development Services
Serving residents, businesses and the community at large, the award-winning Long Beach Development Services Department sets a standard for high-quality, innovative urban planning and livability efforts that create more progressive and sustainable communities within the diverse City of Long Beach, CA. Through a variety of development, code enforcement, housing and neighborhood services and building activities, the Department builds a better future for the city while also honoring its unique past. For more information, visit longbeach.gov/lbds. Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.