I don't know the particulars of the situation. However, it's very common for a new development to have a Board composed of representatives of the developer. Generally--and this depends on the HOA's bylaws--there's a provision that when x% (like 70%) of the units are sold, or x% of the interest in the property, then new elections will be held.
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.