We lived in an HOA community of single family homes in the Atlanta suburbs for four years (about 20-25 years ago). Everything was fine for the first three years and then there was turnover on the board and the interpretation of rules became onerous. Ordinary pickup trucks were defined as “work vehicles” and couldn’t be parked on the driveway. There were people walking around measuring grass height with a ruler and anything over 4” was given a warning, then a fine. Open garage doors led to citations. Vegetable gardens were violations of the “no agricultural use” rule. Having a home office was considered “running a business out of the home”. Telecommuting wasn’t well understood back then.
In the space of two or three months 50 out of ~200 homeowners had some kind of fines assessed or demand that something be changed. Most of the people getting fined were Asian. Lawsuits started sprouting like weeds. HOA terms made the plaintiffs responsible for the HOA legal fees.
Fortunately we moved due to a job change. This was before social media so we lost contact with he old neighbors.
This was a relatively new neighborhood built four years before we moved in. Solid middle class to upper middle class area. Houses in the $250k-$300k range. Nice tennis courts, swimming pool, playground, clubhouse.
13 years after we moved out, we were visiting Atlanta and went back to show our kid our first house.
The surrounding neighborhoods of similar vintage looked pristine, and many older tracts had been replaced by McMansions. Our old neighborhood was trashed. Tennis courts abandoned, swimming pool filled in with concrete. Many houses looked decrepit, yards overgrown. Private roads are in disrepair.
From the HOA website it looks like the battles have continued for pretty much 20 years. They are trying to turn over the roads to the city. We’ve reconnected with some of our neighbors but they’ve all moved out. Neighborhood has gone from white collar professional to working class. The HOA has trouble collecting dues and enforcing anything.
While houses in other neighborhoods have doubled in value in 20+ years since we bought, houses in this neighborhood have barely appreciated at all. Our old house sold in 2018 for less than we sold it for 15 years earlier.