Pick up a copy of your CC&R's, last years HOA financials and the latest reserve study and let's have lunch. I will give you detailed info on how to fight excessive HOA fees.
R. Zeke Wheeler 760.409.7630
Clearly there IS a benefit to having lighted streets and paved roads. The fees, benefits, responsibilities and even the disclosure that your community has PRIVATE roads were all disclosed BEFORE you purchased this home.
The HOA is your neighbors. They are not some 'mystery group and booted thugs" imposing their will on the weak. They are your neighbors who VOLUNTEER to maintain the conformity of the community to align with the HOA established rules for the benefit of the community. Know the rules, get the appropriate number of supporters and put it to a vote. If the developer is still a player in the community, your chances of success are slim.
Consider moving to a community where you can receive a perceived greater value for your HOA fees. Choosing to stay confirms you DO see value.
Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
First Look: http://youtu.be/PumYpkgybXE
If you are really passionate about the "Fees vs. Benefits" of your HOA you probably need to start by getting all of your HOA docs and start reading, going to all of the HOA meetings, and asking questions. That said, before all of this effort you might consider personally asking the HOA meeting Chair (or other members) to sit down and table your concerns. After, you will be any combination of satisfied, confused, angry and/or or more determined than ever to get involved.
You may also find this website to be quite useful regarding research: