Interestingly, HOAs do have the most scope and reach over your life (if you choose to live there). At least as pertains to your home life. The control how long your grass is, where you can park your car on your own property, what kind of toys you can put up for you kids in the yard, who can come over to your house, when and for how long.... they can be very intrusive. They can even have approval over the sale of the house when you decide to leave.
Pretty much just about anything they'd like can be in the HOA contract you agree to when you buy in. I live in HOA central down in south Florida. They are so pervasive that several of those weekend radio shows that are mostly advertisements for professional services are dedicated to HOA legal advice (both for homeowners and for HOA boards). I've not seen that elsewhere, but it seems to be a pretty hot topic around these parts. They have full slates of callers looking for solutions to perceived HOA abuses or homeowners who are resisting HOA mandates. On the few occasions that I've caught a few minutes, the legal experts seem to advise that "the HOA is going to win so just pay up" most of the time.