we have 90 + communities in Ocean and Monmouth counties with seniors living here. 10's of thousands of people. Only the real rebels will find it restrictive. However - that said you need to read the rules and regulations in the place you buy in BEFORE you make a final decision. I like to be left alone... USMC , Vietnam , purple heart - a little PTSD... I can cope - most others can too.
There are many different adult communities in this area and each has their own rules and regulations. Generally speaking, the community will take care of communal landscaping,trash removal, basic grass maintenance, snow removal after a set amount of inches and maintain clubhouse and community activities like bocci, swimming pool, golf course etc.
Some communities have restrictions on how many dogs can be owned and how big the dogs can be. Usually additional construction (deck?) would need advance approval from the board. If you are leaning to a particular community, I can send you their rules and regulations.
Thank you and good luck in your adult community search.