I lived in the Clearlake Riviera with a Kelseyville CA address from 1990 to 1997. Clearlake Riviera had a homeowner's association to which we paid some unreasonable dues. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, it is just north of Napa County, east of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, and west of Yolo and Colusa Counties. It is wild fire country, has Mount Konocti (a dormant volcano) in the middle, and is riddled with earthquake faults.
Our beloved HOA did nothing about the fire hazard of thirty years of manzanita and other 20' tall brush. The streets deteriorated. They allowed modular homes to be built next to $200k architect-designed homes. They DID, however, insist on approving the color of paint
for your house. Woe be unto the person who put up a fence without the HOA being involved. They went on a kick about hiding propane
heating fuel tanks. The Association by-laws strictly prohibited visible propane
They actually paid someone to go around looking for violations! In due course I got the dreaded "fix it or else" letter directing that I needed to camoflage my propane
tank in the approved fashion (4' x 8' wood lattice hung on 4x4 posts driven "x" number of inches into the ground... blah blah blah". After diligently searching my yard repeatedly, I couldn't find a tank to hide.
And then I remembered that my house was all electric and I didn't HAVE propane!
I will never live in a house with an HOA again. The concept is OK, and as long as there are business people on the board who indeed are looking out after the fiscal health of the common community, you're probably ok; but when it's run by folks who have nothing better to do than annoy the neighbors while ignoring significant threats to the community... you're better off in a mixed economic base residential community.