In residential communities generally consist of board members. President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Articles of Incorporation govern what can or cannot be performed in community. Governing rules are in place for an existing community that has already been voted on. Meeting's are announced prior by mail or email to all homeowners. These meetings are open to all homeowners to be fully informed and any changes that need's a vote that counts.
New communities typically has to be at least 75% occupied by owners for developers to turn the board to them. They allow a transition period from developer to new board so that they can understand proper procedures and understanding how working with vendors are performed and utilizing accounts for payment and non payment. This comes along with forming an architectural committee which is responsible for the aesthetic's of community.
Homeowners Owners Association aka (HOA) are generally for the community health and well being. Most communities provide a website to review. Many can be strict, however I suggest you understand them before buying a house in any (HOA) community. The fees varies depending on what amenities are available, such as pool, gym, clubhouse, tennis courts, restaurants, gated guard or just plain gated community and golf course to name a few. The more you amenities you have, the more it will cost. Needles to say common grounds are always included. Many communities if gated this is considered a private road and association is responsible for the maintaining of roads.
Now understand that you have taxes and insurance included in you mortgage payment. Home owners association is a separate fee generally paid quarterly, semi annually or yearly. If these are not paid a lien can be placed on your home. My understanding some gated communities your remote control will be deactivated.
These are general guide lines to use.