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Merrill named new planning head for Coquitlam

Andrew Merrill has been with the City of Coquitlam for 15 years.
Andrew Merrill.

Coquitlam has a new general manager of planning to guide its growth.

Last month, Andrew Merrill, the city’s director of development, was promoted to the top position to replace Don Luymes, who returned to the City of Surrey. Previously, the job was held for two decades by Jim McIntyre, who retired.

Over the past 15 years, Merrill has held a number of key posts within Coquitlam’s planning department: planner analyst, community planner, major project planner and manager of community planning.

Within those roles, he led new development and housing during rapid change in the city, including neighbourhood planning, policy development, housing affordability, urban design and community social development.

According to a recent report before council, in the first trimester of 2023, the 115-person planning department saw 252 active development projects in process with about 54,800 homes under application or construction; the trimester ended with $332 million in construction value, outpacing last year’s near record-setting level of $305 million.

Merrill, who has a master’s degree in planning from UBC, as well as bachelor’s degrees in community design (Dalhousie University) and commerce (Saint Mary’s University), is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planner and is a Registered Professional Planner. He started his career as a planner with the City of Grande Prairie.

“Mr. Merrill has successfully led many key planning and development initiatives throughout his time with the city and has a wealth of planning and municipal government experience,” said Kathleen Vincent, Coquitlam’s communications manager, in an email to the Tri-City News.

“His career path with the city and his recent promotion to the general manager role is a great example of how Coquitlam supports ongoing growth and leadership, through initiatives like our award-winning leadership program, mentorship pop-ups and opportunities to take on cross-functional work within the organization.”