A Master Planned Community, while there are no official rules that specify the requirements, generally incorporate residential, shopping/retail, dining and commercial/office developments. Recreational and educational are also carefully considered in the layout. Authorities will generally expect to see a mix of lower income (priced) properties and higher income properties. Rental (apartment) complexes may or may not be included.
A developer will buy a large tract of land (often 1,000s or even 10,000s of acres). They will then – in concert with local and state authorities develop a ‘master’ layout of where features and amenities will be located plus the roads and infrastructure to support the future residents.
Then, smaller land tracts will be offered for sell to developers who will actually design specific housing ‘developments’, shopping centers or commercial space. The master plan developer will approve the individual developments to assure that they meet their goals for layout, conformity and possibly even architectural design, however, the master developer will not participate in the actual construction.
Most master planned communities are organized as a Common Interest Community (aka HOA) that will have an Elected Board of Directors and collect an annual fee from owners with in the community. During the development process and subdividing, the actual individual housing or business developments may have their own CIC/HOA configuration. Although not common – it does happen – there may be three (3) levels of CIC/HOA to which the owner may be accountable to and also pay dues/membership fees to.
There are also planned communities which are not as intensive and massive in most metro areas. See Planned Communities for comments.
Las Vegas has several Master Planned Communities – I have listed some on their own pages.