In the beginning it isn't a conflict. As others have stated the developer is the primary owner and it would be natural to be on the HOA. Having the attorney there assures the HOA of starting it's function correctly. As a board member, if you decide to be one, you have responsibilities and liabilities. In the beginning it would be foolish to assume that there will be a pool of ready, responsible leaders in the first pool of purchasers.
A developer (understandably) wants to protect his interests at the beginning...especially when there aren't enough owners to even make up a Board. It's not a conflict of interest; the developer still owns all, then most, of the development. However, once the developer is pretty much done, control generally is turned over to the owners.
A real estate lawyer in San Francisco would be able to better comment on the circumstances, read your HOA documents, and advise you.
Hope that helps.
If you elect a strong board, everything will work out in the end.
Your SoMa / South Beach Super Broker